Turkish Cargo has launched a new freighter service from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport from 21 June, while the Paris Air Show takes place.
The weekly Airbus A310 Freighter flight will leave Istanbul every Wednesday at 15:25h local time and return from Paris at 20:00h local time.
Turkish says automobile, aircraft and aircraft engines, as well as pharmaceutical products and plastic raw materials are set to be the main exports to Turkey from France, the third-largest economy in the European Union and the sixth-largest economy in the world.
The carrier says France has a wide range of products and market diversity, and is a market with high potential for Turkish Cargo.
Turkish also aims to provide a better connections to Africa, Middle East and Turkic Republics, especially the Far East, which constitute 75 per cent of its network.
West Atlantic Airlines is to lease four Boeing 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS), making it the first operator of this aircraft.
The first aircraft is undergoing the conversion at Boeing’s modification facility in Shanghai, with subsequent aircraft deliveries due in 2018 and 2019, bringing West Atlantic’s fleet to more than 50 freighters.
The 737-800BCF will be equipped with CFM56-7B engines, and carries up to 23.9 tonnes of cargo with 12 main deck positions over 2,000 nautical miles.
West Atlantic chief executive officer, Fredrik Groth says the airline is excited to be first operator of the 737-800BCF, saying: “The additional capacity and Next Generation efficiency offered by this new aircraft will deliver real benefit to our customers and we’re delighted to be at the forefront of deliveries of this new technology.”
“The 737-800BCF will be an enabler for us to make a leap in reliability, capacity, and ability to expand in areas of the world away from our traditional markets, such as Asia.”
GECAS senior vice president & manager cargo, Richard Greener says: “GECAS is proud to provide these 737-800 converted freighters to West Atlantic, transitioning into the Next Generation 737 is a logical step as West Atlantic defines its future fleet requirements.”
Dubai-based airline, flydubai, and Mercator have announced the signing of a seven-year extension to their air cargo management contract.
They say the renewal reaffirms the continuation of the strategic partnership initiated in 2012, designed to provide flydubai with a next-generation technology platform that enables the end-to-end management of air cargo operations and revenue accounting, while providing the airline with innovative and intelligent cargo management.
flydubai has worked closely with Mercator since cargo operations were launched. The airline provides cargo services to 94 destinations across its flight network, in the GCC, Middle East, Europe, Africa, Russia, CIS, Central Asia and The Americas.
The renewal of the contract expands on the existing SkyChain and RAPID Cargo platform as flydubai collaborates with Mercator to upgrade to and leverage the transformational offerings of the Intelligent Cargo Ecosystem.
This is an open API portfolio of air cargo and ground handling applications that provide an end-to-end view of cargo movements across the supply chain and identify the most efficient ways of delivering goods to their destination.
Flydubai Cargo vice president, Mohamed Hassan says: “Cargo is an integral element of our operations and our continued partnership with Mercator has been a key component in enabling us to achieve consistent growth by delivering the capabilities we need to provide innovative and digital cargo products and services.
“With the extension of our contract, we look forward to working closely with Mercator to further enhance the value we deliver to our customers.”
Mercator chief technology officer, Brendan McKittrick says: “We’ve had the pleasure of working with flydubai to support the cargo growth they enjoy today and we’re delighted to continue advancing their ambitions and meet the expanding expectations of air cargo with the technologies that provide greater transparency, predictability, and above all, the ability to simplify complex processes.”
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won a three year cargo handling contract with Qatar Airways in Stockholm for its Doha flights.
The airline operates 13 flights a week between the Swedish capital and Doha, and WFS is expecting to handle 12,000 tonnes a year for Qatar Airways at its cargo centre at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, which opened in 2012.
WFS regional vice president, Marc Claesen says: “We are delighted to now be working with Qatar Airways at our two hubs in Scandinavia and at other WFS stations in Europe.”
“Winning this contract proves the value and strength of the WFS network, which helps us to build growing relationships with major airlines based on the high quality of our safety, security and service performance.”
The new contract extends WFS’ relationship with Qatar Airways in Europe, where it provides cargo handling services for the airline in Madrid, Barcelona, Frankfurt and Paris.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker has called on the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to lift what it describes as the illegal airspace ban it faces in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.
In a statement issued earlier today, the airline said 90% of its flights had managed to depart within 15 minutes of schedule despite the airspace ban, implemented after Qatar (the country) was accused of destabilising the Middle East region – allegations it denies.
Al Baker said the airline itself is not a political entity and called for the ban to be lifted.
He said: "This blockade unprecedented, and it is in direct contradiction to the convention that guarantees rights to civil overflight.
"We call upon ICAO to declare this an illegal act. We are not a political body, we are an airline, and this blockade has stripped us of the rights which are guaranteed to us."
He added: "Qatar Airways’ global operations continue to run smoothly, with the vast majority of our network unaffected by the current circumstances. Our focus is on supporting any passengers impacted by the current situation and ensuring that we continue to deliver our award-winning service.
"Our network expansion continues with two new destinations launching in the next month. As far as we are concerned, it is business as usual.”
As well as the closure of airspace, Saudi Arabia has closed its land boarder, which is how 40% of food imports arrive in the country.
In response to the situation, Oman Air has reportedly upped its capacity flying Muscat-Doha by 25% as Oman has positioned itself as a transhipment centre for Qatar in terms of air and sea operations.
The Jordan Times reports that exporters of fruit and vegetables are flying 90 tonnes of produce out of the country to Qatar each day to bypass the land boarder closure.
There are also reports that one business entrepreneur has brought forward plans to fly out 4,000 cattle to the country as he looks to establish a dairy farm in Qatar.
The plans were already in place, but the business man is now hoping operations at his diary farm are underway by the end of the month, rather than September, and is looking to move the 4,000 cows on 60 flights rather than use ocean transport.
Qatar Cargo said nothing had been confirmed at the moment, but it would send out information if the cattle flights do take place.
Iran Air is also reported to have operated five aircraft each carrying 90 tonnes of cargo, mainly food, to Qatar.