China Airlines signs new contract with WFS
China Airlines has extended its 19 year working relationship with Worldwide Flight Services in North America, having signed a new cargo handling contract at Chicago O’Hare.
This new contract takes to five the number of locations in the US where WFS provides services for the Chinese carrier. WFS secured its first contract with China Airlines in North America in 1998 at New York’s JFK, where it continues to handle some 47m kilogrammes of cargo a year for the airline. In addition to providing further cargo handling services in Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, WFS also manages passenger and ramp operations for China Airlines in Honolulu.
Under the terms of this latest agreement, WFS will handle up to seven direct flights a week connecting Chicago with Taipei, together with an estimated 56m kilogrammes per year of freight.
A state of Flux
Flux Power Holdings, a developer of advanced lithium batteries for industrial applications, including electric forklifts and airport ground service equipment, has announced financial results for its fiscal 2017 second quarter and six months ended December 31, 2016.
In the second quarter of 2017, cost of sales increased by 54% to US$311,000 compared to $202,000 in the period a year ago, reflecting higher unit sales. Starting in October 2016, Flux commenced transitioning the production of key components to lower cost vendors. This strategic sourcing initiative is expected to significantly decrease the average per unit cost of the LiFT Pack and advance Flux’s LiFT Pack production towards a positive gross profit position.
CEO, Ron Dutt, commented: “Interest in our UL listed LiFT Packs continues to build in scope, excitement and customer deployments.
“We are also working very closely with forklift OEMs in an effort to position our LiFT Packs as an option for new equipment. These dialogues have reinforced our plans to expand into the Class I and II lift equipment market. This spring, Flux plans to deliver a Class I LiFT Pack prototype to an OEM that has shown strong interest in what we are doing and specifically asked us to scale up our solutions for larger vehicles.”
Better performance for US carriers in 2016
Amongst other information, the annual US Department of Transportation air travel report reveals the lowest rate of flight cancellations for over two decades.
Coming out on top, with the highest punctuality figures, was Hawaiian Airlines: it chalked up a statistic of 85.1%, edging out Delta Air Lines, which managed a creditable 81.4%. Stalwart American Airlines took the third position, with figures of 79.1%.
Losers in the race for on time performance were SkyWest (which managed 69.8%) and Virgin America (at 68.3%), whilst Frontier brought up the rear with 62.4%. The bad news for Frontier didn’t end there, because the carrier also posted the worst flight cancellation statistics, at 6.4%. In contrast, Hawaiian posted a figure of just 0.1%, which was chased by Delta at 0.2%.
The good news also included baggage, with mishandled luggage dropping to 2.7% per 1,000 passengers compared to the 2015 statistic of 3.13%. Complaints received by the DOT for the same period were also down by over 11%, accentuating the better year overall for US carriers.
User-friendly GPU from AERO
AERO Specialties has introduced a new diesel-hybrid ground power unit. According to the manufacturer the unit, dubbed the JetGo 600Mti-RJ, will be the most advanced 28V DC GPU to be found within the market today. This unit is set to replace the already popular JetGo 550Mti-RJ GPU that has seen wide deployment within both military and commercial operations across the globe; the model is also attuned to operating in the harshest of environments. AERO engineers have made these units quiet, lightweight, extremely fuel efficient, powerful and by far the most user-friendly examples available, with a simplified operation that depends on only one switch.
Electric buses for Indianapolis
Vehicle builder Complete Coach Works has announced that it has been chosen as the contractor to furnish Indianapolis International airport with six Zero-Emission Propulsion System (or ZEPS), electric 35 foot remanufactured buses. When the order is fulfilled, this will constitute the largest fleet of electric buses at any airport within the US.
Thanks to a Zero Emissions Vehicle grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, the airport is now embarking on a greener path.
Flexible towbarless tug launched
TNA Aviation Technologies has announced the North and South American release of the TowFLEXX 120e HG, an advanced and versatile electric towbarless aircraft tug. This product has been designed to combine the best in flexibility, adaptability, practical features, tow capacity and capability.
According to the company’s Michael Turwitt, customers have been asking for more affordable and compact tow tug systems, especially in the aircraft weight range of 10,000 to 30,000 pounds MTOW.
The TowFLEXX 120e HG features a powerful electric motor and many capabilities that deliver functionality normally only found in bigger and more expensive tow tugs. Customers can thus use this versatile tug for a wide range of aircraft, all the way up to medium size corporate jets, with either single or twin nose wheel configuration. There are no special adapters required and loading the aircraft nose gear is fast and easy; moreover, the ergonomic multi-functional tiller steering control can be operated with one hand.
Cold chain facility for Dallas
Cargo and logistics customers will soon have better opportunities to ship perishable items through one of the world’s premier international gateways. Dallas Fort Worth International will soon begin installing a cold chain facility that will be operated by AirLogistix USA.This is expected to be operational this summer, and the state-of-the-art transfer facility will give the airport the ability to precisely control warehousing temperatures for shipments of pharmaceuticals, flowers and fresh foods.
DFW handles more than 794,600 tonnes of freight per annum, which is shipped to destinations all over the world. A total of 14 dedicated freighters serve 22 major cargo hubs throughout Asia, Europe and North America. Valuable belly cargo capacity is also available to more than 200 global destinations on the 26 passenger airlines that serve the airport.
TNA to assemble tugs in the US
TNA Aviation Technologies, a supplier of highly advanced semi-robotic aircraft tugs and ground support equipment in North America, has announced that it is to assemble its aircraft tugs in the US. The company supplies state-of-the-art remote operated tug vehicles and a wide range of German sourced towbarless aircraft re-positioning systems for the aviation industry.
Greener future for San Diego
The US transportation sector is well known as a main source for the production of carbon emissions and in San Diego, transportation accounts for more than 50% of all carbon emissions. In an effort to ameliorate this situation, San Diego Gas & Electric has filed a number of proposals with the California Public Utilities Commission, with the view to installing tens of thousands of electric charging stations. These will encourage the transition to zero-emission electric vehicles, trucks, shuttle buses and delivery fleets.
“SDG&E has spent more than a decade reducing our carbon footprint through the rapid expansion of clean energy. We all want to breathe cleaner air, which means slowing down the impacts of climate change will require an increased focus on the areas that produce the most harmful emissions,” commented Caroline Winn, the company’s Chief Operating Officer. “We are committed as a business and a community partner to improving lives by developing meaningful solutions.”
If SDG&E’s proposals are approved, then additional electric charging stations would be installed at San Diego International airport and the Port of San Diego; these will be used for delivery fleets, taxis and rideshare facilities, Park and Rides and residential homes throughout the region. Such a programme will be building upon the company’s efforts to install an electric charging infrastructure in 350 apartments, condominiums and businesses as part of the bigger Power Your Drive scheme.
The filing is in response to Senate Bill 350 which has recognised the vital role energy companies like SDG&E will play in widespread transportation electrification by installing and expanding the charging network and other necessary infrastructure.
In overall terms, SDG&E’s transportation electrification proposals are looking to jump start the EV sector as well as test cutting edge technology. The larger residential project would focus on customer homes and smart charging with special EV rates to encourage off-peak charging. In turn, the residential charging programme will involve the installation of up to 90,000 charging stations at single family homes throughout the company’s service area whilst airport electrification will see provision for up to 45 charging ports to enable electrification of approximately 90 new pieces of ground support equipment at San Diego International. The port will benefit from charging stations and research meters to amass data on the electric vehicles operating there; and the installation of grid-integrated charging stations for just under 100 delivery vehicles is seen as an important step forward. The same technology will be rolled out at four Park and Ride locations
Jet Aviation begins operations at Washington Dulles
Jet Aviation has announced the acquisition of Ross Aviation’s FBO location at Washington Dulles International airport.
As demand for FBO services increases, Jet Aviation’s operation has grown to over 20 FBO stations across the globe. This latest facility at Washington Dulles includes six hangars, ten acres of ramp space and a refurbished FBO terminal building, which features on-site Customs and Immigration clearance, a VIP lounge, flight planning centre, executive conference room and car rental facilities.
Jet Aviation Group President Rob Smith said that the company was delighted to have further expanded its FBO network in the US, adding: “Washington Dulles is well connected to Jet Aviation’s other US locations, particularly Teterboro airport, and with a large volume of international traffic it’s a significant expansion of our global network.
“Jet Aviation’s unparalleled hospitality and premium customer service makes us a great addition to Washington Dulles, just in time for the Presidential Inauguration,” he concluded.
Jet Aviation’s new FBO facility is to become the company’s ninth location in the Americas.