More than 1,000 delegates attending the March 11 to 13 IATA World Cargo Symposium in Los Angeles heard a downbeat assessment of prospects for airfreight from FedEx chairman and CEO Fred Smith and IATA chief economist Brian Pearce, both of whom talked of long-term structural challenges.
Airport authorities in Birmingham, Ala., were in the process of reopening the airport’s longer Runway 24 on August 14, at the time a UPS Airbus A300 crashed while attempting to land on Runway 18. A FedEx jet, in fact, landed on Runway 24 just a few minutes after the UPS accident. The NTSB will hold a hearing on the accident February 20 in Washington.
Anchorage-based regional airline group Era Alaska officially renamed itself Ravn Alaska last month as part of a wider rebranding exercise accomplished over the past half-year. The three airlines that operate under the Era Alaska banner have also undergone a rebranding: ERA Aviation becomes Corvus Airlines, while Hageland Aviation and Frontier Flying Service now fly under the name Ravn Connect.
Leipzig-based Volga-Dnepr Technics (VDT), the division responsible for Volga-Dnepr Group’s maintenance operations in Europe, has expanded its maintenance capability on Western-built aircraft. VDT’s EASA Part 145 certificate enables the MRO to extend A-check services on the Boeing 737-300/-400/-500, 747-8F and 747-400 (PW4000-powered). The company’s EASA Rating C14 has also been expanded to cover wheel and brake repair shop activities on a number of 747 variants.
“In 2014 we aim to reach…C-check capability on Western aircraft,” said VDT managing director Ildar Ilyasov.
Indonesia’s civil aviation authority plans to reduce the number of airlines operating in the country from 53 to 28 following the failure of most of its carriers to satisfy a minimum fleet-size requirement by January. The requirement calls for all airlines, including charter and cargo operators, to operate no fewer than 10 airplanes each, five of which they must own.
The ruling, introduced in 2009, originally called for implementation on Jan. 12, 2012. The government extended the deadline by another year when smaller carriers appealed for more time.
FedEx Express feeder carrier Empire Airlines expects to start flying passengers to Kauai and Lanai in Hawaii as a Hawaiian Airlines code-share partner by “mid-summer,” Empire CEO Tim Komberec told a gathering of reporters at last month’s RAA Convention in Montreal.
The imminent merger of the freight operations of TWO Aviation and Flex Aero will create the largest express freight carrier in Brazil, Two-Flex. The new operation expects to command 60 percent of the country’s air cargo market, with 18 aircraft and 11 bases throughout the country. Flex Aero’s operations are stronger in the north of Brazil, and TWO’s in the center and south. “Now, I can go from the north of Brazil to Porto Alegre in the far south. Before, I couldn’t offer that,” said Flex Aero president Rui Aquino.
Russian-owned outsize cargo specialist Volga-Dnepr has many years experience moving all types of helicopters around the planet, whether in support of contracts or on delivery flights for manufacturers. The company (Booth No. C702) was founded in 1990 and can transport anything from MD 500s up to Mil Mi-8s/17s and Sikorsky CH-53s or S-64s.
Controllers at Memphis International Airport started sending text messages to FedEx Express pilots in mid-January under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Data Communications (data comm) effort to replace voice communications for routine ATC instructions. Testers plan to expand the data comm trial to include United Airlines, FedEx and UPS aircraft at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey this summer.
FedEx Express, a division of FedEx, and its founder Fred Smith are the recipients of the NBAA’s Al Ueltschi Humanitarian Award, presented at yesterday’s opening ceremonies. For more than 30 years, NBAA said, FedEx has been the leading aviation sponsor of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, which travels the world with dedicated eye care professionals and aviators to give the gift of sight to people in developing countries.
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