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latam cargo ATLANTA: September 26, 2019. Delta Air Lines has announced it is to take a 20 percent stake in LATAM Airlines Group (LATAM) for US$1.9 billion as part of a partnership to grow the two airlines’ joint ventures worldwide, including the US carrier’s existing partnership with Aeroméxico.

Delta will also invest US$350 million to establish the partnership, acquire four LATAM A350 aircraft and assume the carrier's commitment to purchase 10 more for delivery between 2020 and 2025.

The transaction, which is expected to enhance Delta’s earnings-per-share over the next two years and reduce LATAM’s forecasted debt by over US$2 billion by 2025, is subject to government and regulatory approvals, including anti-trust immunity.

“This alliance with Delta strengthens our company and enhances our leadership in Latin America by providing the best connectivity through our highly complementary route networks,” said LATAM CEO Enrique Cueto Plaza. “We look forward to working alongside one of the world’s best airlines.”

LATAM is the only airline group in the Americas and one of three worldwide to be part of the Dow Jones Sustainability ‘World’ Index. In 2019, it was recognized by the index for sustainable practices, based on economic, social and environmental criteria, for the sixth consecutive year.

DEERFIELD, Ill: September 19, 2019. US retail pharmacy Walgreens and Wing Aviation, the first drone operator certified as an air carrier by the Federal Aviation Administration, will begin offering deliveries to residents of Christiansburg, Virginia next month.

Wing WalgreenThe two companies will use the pilot programme to determine the viability of delivering health and wellness products by drone within minutes of placing orders via the Wing app.

Eligible customers in the Christiansburg area will have access to more than 100 non-prescription products and six convenient packs via the Wing app that include many of Walgreens most sought-after products in its stores.

Christiansburg, with a population of 22,000, was selected because Wing has been working since 2016 with nearby Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to test drone delivery under a U.S. Department of Transportation programme.

“This is the kind of omni-channel partnership and offering that can redefine convenience for our customers and communities – delivering items to homes in minutes, not hours or days,” commented Vish Sankaran, chief innovation officer for the Walgreens Boots Alliance company.

Walgreens says approximately 78 percent of the US population live within five miles of a store.

Last year Walgreens Boots Alliance replaced General Electric on the Dow Jones Industrial Index with fiscal year sales of US$131.5 billion and GAAP net earnings of US$5 billion.

GENEVA: September 05, 2019 With Trump Administration trade officials due to meet their Chinese counterparts in October, “trade tensions are weighing heavily on the entire air cargo industry,” according to IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

IATA has reported a 3.2 percent drop in airfreight volumes for July, the ninth consecutive month of year-on-year declines, as capacity rose 2.6 percent.

For the first seven months of the year airfreight volumes were 3.5 percent lower than the same period in 2018. With further tariff increases scheduled to come into effect, leading to a more pronounced impact of the US-China trade war, the association says 2019 could be the first year in a decade that the global airfreight market shrinks.

China Airlines B777FBetween January and July, trade volumes between US and China fell 14 percent year-on-year while the new export orders component of the global Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) has been below the 50-mark for the last 11 months and eased further in July.

During that month Germany recorded its steepest drop in new export orders since 2009 while in South Korea new export orders fell at their fastest rate in the last six years, indicating a fragile outlook for one of the world’s key air cargo markets says IATA.

“Higher tariffs are disrupting not only transpacific supply chains but also worldwide trade lanes. While current tensions might yield short-term political gains, they could lead to long-term negative changes for consumers and the global economy. Trade generates prosperity. It is critical that the US and China work quickly to resolve their differences,” declared de Juniac.

Meanwhile, looking to the long term, Taiwan’s China Airlines has confirmed its six-airplane order of B777 freighters to replace 747capacity. With a list price of US$2.1 billion, three of the six orders had been announced in July.

"Air cargo is an important part of our overall business and the introduction of these new B777 freighters will play an integral role in our long-term growth strategy," said China Airlines chairman Hsieh Su-Chien. "As we transition our (747) freighter fleet to the 777Fs, this will enable us to deliver world-class services to our customers more efficiently and reliably."

AMSTERDAM: September 02, 2019. Schiphol Airport (SPL) reports a 9.2 percent overall drop in cargo volume to 767,519 tonnes for the first half of 2019, compared to the same period last year.

Despite the ongoing trade war between China and Trump, Shanghai remained the main destination for SPL outbound services that saw 88,481 tonnes carried in the first six months of 2019, followed by Moscow with 38,633 tonnes.

“The mid-year figures reflect our expectations for a decrease in overall freighter volume as we continue to face slot scarcity, on top of a weakening of the global air cargo market,” commented airport head of Cargo Bart Pouwels.

SPL full freighter volumes fell 16.4 percent as flight frequencies dropped 14.4 percent for the period.

KLM SPL freight volumes“As a mainport for the Netherlands, we are concerned about the negative developments within the air cargo market and the consequences it has for the overall network of our airlines at Schiphol. With a decrease of full freighters, we may become less attractive for freight forwarders, as the forwarders need a mix of full freight and belly cargo to operate sustainably.

“This may result in forwarders leaving Schiphol and the airport becoming less attractive for airlines as belly cargo contributes significantly to certain routes. So, the consequence may be that the network may be impacted as well,” he added.

SPL first half-year figures show a volume drop across all markets, apart from small increases in North America outbound traffic and the Middle East inbound:

• The Asia inbound market was down 10 percent to 131,725 tonnes and outbound decreased 13 percent to 130,520 tonnes.

• European traffic fell 15 percent inbound to 47,493 tonnes year-on-year, while outbound was down 8.0 percent to 54,756 tonnes.

• North America dropped 13 percent inbound to 56,314 tonnes but increased 4.0 percent outbound to 82,242 tonnes.

• The Latin America inbound market fell 10 percent to 58,666 tonnes and 8.0 percent to 37,184 tonnes for outbound cargo.

• Africa outbound traffic dropped 4.0 percent year-on-year to 25,489 tonnes while inbound cargo dropped a significant 20 percent to 46,518 tonnes.

• While inbound Middle Eastern region traffic rose 5.0 percent in HI, the result was offset by a 6.0 percent fall in outbound volume to 44,603 and 52,008 tonnes respectively.

BELGRADE: July 17, 2019. An endangered Griffon vulture, which began its migration from Serbia to the Middle East but had to make an unscheduled landing in Sanliurfa in Southeast Turkey, has been rescued by Turkish Cargo and flown back to Belgrade.

Griffon Vulture 1The 18-month Griffon tagged 'Dobrila' had begun its flight from Serbia’s remote Uvac Canyon nature reserve only to land some 2,000 kms. later in Sanliurfa, where it was taken to the local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre by farmers.

Released to continue flying after a few months of rest and recuperation, Dobrila had other ideas and refused to take off. So officials from Turkey’s ministry of Agriculture and Forestry contacted their Serbian counterparts for advice and they suggested the best place to send the bird was Belgrade’s Biological Research Institute.

Turkish Cargo came to the rescue and carried Dobrila from Sanliurfa via Istanbul to Belgrade where it was handed over to Goran Trivan, Serbia’s minister of Environmental Protection together with Tanju Bilgic, Turkey’s ambassador to the country.

Dobrila’s home is in a 1,000-metre gorge carved out of limestone hills by the river Tresnjica in western Serbia. The steep cliffs and surrounding forests are home to Golden eagles and Peregrine falcons - and Europe’s most northerly colony of Griffon vultures.

With a wingspan of some 2.8 metres, the Griffon cruises at 2,000 metres and when not searching for food, can reach a height of 5,000 metres.

’’Today is a very special day for Dobrila, because after months of rehabilitation, it will fly [again] for the first time. We thank Turkish Cargo for their support,’’ declared biologist Irena Hrıbsek from Serbia’s Foundation for the Protection of Birds of Prey.

GENEVA: August 20, 2019. IATA says its home country air transport industry could generate an additional 36,000 jobs and nearly CHF13 billion in extra GDP for the nation’s economy by 2037.

IATA says to maximise employment opportunities created by a successful air transport industry, Switzerland should expand Zurich and Geneva airports, without additional restrictions on night flights, and support the UN Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

SWISS LAXCurrently the industry supports nearly 207,000 jobs, (including those at IATA in Geneva), and contributes CHF 27.7 billion or 4.1 percent to Switzerland’s GDP.

By maximizing the opportunities, IATA sees a rosy future for Swiss air transport. Conversely, 13,000 jobs could be lost if its recommendations are not adopted and the Swiss Council of States agree a carbon tax of CHF12 per passenger.

IATA claims 3,000 jobs would be lost if the tax is applied instead of adopting CORSIA which, it declares, would “help reduce Swiss aviation emissions by around 2.7 million tons per year”.

“The real value of aviation is not in the taxes it generates for governments. It is in the jobs and economic growth that flying generates. Environmental taxes are an ineffective tool to address aviation's environmental impacts,” said IATA head Alexandre de Juniac.

CORSIA has been applied to international flights to and from Switzerland since January 01, 2019 and is mandatory for all airlines, whether they are registered in Switzerland or abroad.

“The Swiss government should focus on encouraging investment in sustainable fuels and more efficient air traffic control routes, rather than a passenger tax. Scrapping the tax proposal and ensuring that the nation’s airports operate efficiently will ensure air transport delivers even greater benefits to Switzerland in the years to come,” argued Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional vice president for Europe.

In July Swiss International Airlines carried 1.9 million passengers - up 6.4 percent over the same month in 2018 - and operated more than 14,000 flights, 6.6 percent more year-on-year.

MIAMI, FL: July 16, 2019. The next biennial Air Cargo Americas expo and conference, presented by Miami International Airport (MIA), will be held on October 29 – 31 this year at the Miami Airport & Convention Center.

Organized by the World Trade Center Miami with sponsors including Amerijet International, Cargo Sprint, DHL Aviation, Miami-Dade Community College EIG- Watson School of Aviation and Turkish Cargo, the three-day show is designed to increase air cargo growth and international business in the Americas.

Amerijet MIAThe conference will include updates on the latest security and safety regulations and provide a forum on international aviation, maritime and logistics issues in the Western Hemisphere.

In 2017 there was over US$10 million in actual and projected sales reported by the exhibitors and over 5,800 international aviation and trade and logistics business executives from 30 countries visiting the exhibition.

Early-bird registration to attend the three-day tradeshow is free until July 31. Fore more information on exhibiting and sponsorship go to www.aircargoamericas.com.

MIA is Miami-Dade County’s leading economic engine and busiest gateway, generating nearly US$31 billion in annual business revenue. The airport continues to maintain its ranking as the busiest US gateway for international airfreight, setting a new record of 2.3 million tons in 2018 - up 60,000 tons year-on-year.

Last month the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners adopted a new capital improvement programme at MIA that will fund up to US$5 billion in airport-wide modernization projects over the next five to 15 years. The airport expects passenger and cargo traffic to reach 77 million and more than four million tons respectively by 2040.

GENEVA/ISTANBUL: August 07, 2019. IATA members have reported another drop in air cargo business as industry freight tonne-kilometres fell 4.8 percent in June – the eighth consecutive month of no growth – as capacity rose 2.6 percent and the overall load factor fell 3.5 percent.

The weakness in airfreight volumes compared with a year ago remains broad-based across regions, with the largest falls coming from the Middle East and Asia Pacific, says IATA. Africa was the only region to produce year-on-year growth as international traffic rose 4.3 percent in June.

New Istanbul AirportIATA cites the impact of the US-China trade dispute as US goods exports to China fell 18 percent, compared with the first half of 2018, while goods imports from China are down more than 12 percent.

“Widespread declines are also evident for the Middle East, with cargo volumes for the Europe and Asia Pacific markets down by 7.2 percent and 6.5 percent respectively year-on-year,” according to IATA’s economic report for the month.

Despite the trend, FIATA senior vice president Turgut Erkeskin thinks the “tide is turning” for Turkey in the Middle East region because of the country's location as a hub between East and West, combined with the country’s significant infrastructure investments.

“In the long term, we are positioning ourselves as a powerful hub in the Mediterranean, a gateway to the North Africa – South East Europe, Middle East and a logistics hub for China as part of the new Silk Road, for which we can play a major role in the central corridor with our close connections to the Caucasus,” he declared.

Erkeskin said China’s Sinotrans is investing in Turkey’s port infrastructure and is currently looking for areas to develop logistics and industrial parks. He also noted the strategic importance of Istanbul's new airport which, “despite its gigantic dimensions, we expect the airport to be too small rather than too large in the long term”.

GENEVA: July 09, 2019. A report from IATA says the UK could add 176,000 jobs if it expands runway capacity in the South-East of England, abolishes or reduces its Air Passenger Duty tax – the highest in the world – and makes it easier for visitors to get a visa.

In December 2016 the BBC reported Boris Mr Blobby’ Johnson as saying a third runway at London Heathrow was “undeliverable’. Now, according to recent British media reports, Johnson’s bid to become the next unelected UK prime minister has made his opposition to the expansion more opaque.

Heathrow with third runwayIATA’s latest lobby document in favour of Heathrow expansion says whilst air transport supports 1.56 million jobs and contributes £89 billion to UK GDP, sector employment could fall to 1.44 million by 2037 without a change in current government policy.

Analysing Britain’s air transport competitiveness, IATA rates the country’s passenger facilitation at 5.7 compared to a regional average of 4.4; cargo at 6.3 compared to 6.1; supply chain management at 6.6 versus 7.2; infrastructure management of 5.1 compared to 5.6; and a regulatory environment of 5.6 versus 5.1 for an overall average of 5.8 - the same as the regional figure.

“As a positive finding, cargo facilitation represents the strongest point of UK air transport competitiveness. The UK has made considerable improvements in a number of key air trade facilitation metrics, facilitating the smooth transport of cargo across borders. Nonetheless, in spite of the good overall performance in terms of trade facilitation, there is still much to do in order to enable full implementation of e-freight,” said the report.

IATA says the right pro-aviation policies could lead to a rise in passenger volumes from 142.8 million in 2017 to 167-204 million by 2037; the GDP contribution would rise to £104-£127 billion; and employment could hit 1.76 million.

IATA Regional vice president for Europe Rafael Schnartzman declared: “As an island, the UK is uniquely dependent on air transport in order to connect itself to the world. It is no coincidence that the UK ranks very highly for the strength of its route network. But this network—and the 1.6 million jobs that depend on aviation—cannot be taken for granted,” he declared.

CHICAGO: August 04, 2019. Air France, Delta, KLM and Virgin Atlantic expect to offset more than 1,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions from operating 15,000 flight segments during the 2019 Global Business Travel Association convention from August 03-10 this year.

“These offsets are symbolic of our continued commitment to sustainability and our long-term target of reducing our carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050,” commented Delta senior vide president Bob Somers.

“I’m also pleased [that] Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic have committed to increase the ease of purchasing carbon-offsets for all our customers who book their travel,” he added.

Delta Fuel Truck PhotoMost of the carbon offsets will be purchases funding the International Small Group and Tree Planting program (TIST) that encourages subsistence farmers to improve their local environment and farms by planting and maintaining trees on degraded and/or unused land in India, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

As the trees grow, carbon captured is quantified and verified and certified greenhouse gas credits are sold in the global carbon market. More than 88,000 farmers in four countries have successfully planted 18 million trees and captured nearly five million tonnes of CO2 to date, according to Delta.

The airline also has offsets in place with the business travel of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Columbia Sportswear, Merck and UCB Biopharmaceuticals and says it is looking to expand the programme.

“Delta’s ambition is to be the leader in corporate sustainability. We’ve learned so much from working with our customers as well as Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic as we look to expand and solidify what a broad sustainability programme for our corporate accounts can be,” Somers added.

Airline Climate Strategy manager Stephanie Zhu has now joined GBTA’s Sustainability and Responsibility Committee: “This opportunity to serve on GBTA’s sustainability board means that Delta will continue to have a voice in a larger endeavour across the travel sector as we all move toward long-term sustainability goals,” Zhu said.

Delta says it was the first US airline to voluntarily cap carbon emissions at 2012 levels by purchasing carbon offsets ahead of the ICAO CORSIA implementation, which caps international aviation emissions at 2019/2020 levels.

However the airline industry, like many other sectors, may be overshooting the runway of 2050: According to Joachim Schellnhuber, founder and now director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute, "The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can't be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020."

LIMASSOL, Cyprus: June 26, 2019. Brussels Airport and 193 other members of Airport Council International Europe have announced a commitment to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 - without using offsets.

In a statement ACI Europe acknowledges that its concept of Sustainability “has gone beyond a purely environmental focus to include wider social and economic aspects as well”.

Back in 1987, Norway's first female prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland chaired the Brundtland Commission that presented the first UN Report on Sustainable Development. A much-quoted definition from the report was - and is: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Brussels Airport Company CEO Arnaud Feist said his organisation has been committed since 2011 to a major reduction in CO2: "Since 2018 [it] has also been CO2 neutral according to the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme of ACI Europe.”

Net Zero ACI EuropeFeist said the new ACI Europe Sustainability strategy is based on the 17 United Nations Sustainability objectives: “As a pioneer in outlining a sustainability strategy for our airport, we are part of the core team within ACI Europe, involved in outlining and shaping the goals for the entire sector. Being one of society’s highly important ecosystems, airports have the responsibility not only to limit their environmental impact but also promote positive progress in, for example, mobility, prosperity, sustainable jobs and diversity,” he continued.

Munich Airport CEO and president of ACI Europe Michael Kerkloh said Europe’s airports have been leading climate action with annual [CO2] reductions every year for the past decade: “Forty-three of them have actually become carbon neutral, supported by the global industry standard Airport Carbon Accreditation.

"However, today’s commitment brings a new dimension to this – no offsets. Crucially, with its 'NetZero2050' commitment, the airport industry is aligning itself with the Paris Agreement and the ambitions of the vast majority of EU countries.”

As world leaders convene for the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on June 28, 477 investors managing US$34 trillion in assets have issued a statement calling on governments for “strong policies” by 2020 in order to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.5-degrees Celsius.

"As an investor in global markets, we are exposed to the increasing risks and opportunities that climate change presents to our portfolios, especially in Asia where the physical impacts of extreme weather events will be the harshest and of the greatest cost,” commented Seiji Kawazoe, Senior Stewardship Officer for Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Asset Management. “To enable us to effectively invest in the necessary transition to net-zero carbon economies around the world, we have signed this statement to urge governments to take the actions needed to set us on the course to limiting global warming to 1.5-degrees Celsius."

Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change noted: “The IPCC Special Report from last October is unequivocal about the need to achieve net zero emissions by mid-century. We need all sectors of society working towards this ultimate goal. It is therefore encouraging to see the airport industry voluntarily raising its ambitions and we look forward to working with this vital sector.”

Pictured: ACI Europe members meeting in Limassol, Cyprus commit to net-zero emissions by 2050

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