Aviramp wins over American Airlines
Following a successful installation in Los Angeles, the first flight deploying an Aviramp took place on April 12. Passengers, handlers and airline staff were recorded as being very positive about the impact this boarding aid has delivered in just a short period of time. Most notable has been the quicker, streamlined boarding and deplaning processes, the improved levels of passenger safety and the all-inclusive, step-free passenger experience, which is viewed as an especial benefit for the PRM.
An American Airlines representative felt compelled to contact the Aviramp team after its deployment, summing it all up: “It was absolutely perfect; this is one fine piece of equipment – the boys over on the other side of the world certainly do it right. Well done all.”
ABC promotes Vince Ryan to VP Americas
AirBridgeCargo Airlines has promoted Vince Ryan to the post of Vice President, North and South America.Based in New York, he will continue the development of ABC’s growing business and network in the Americas, which already includes Boeing 747 freighter services connecting Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle to the airline’s global network over its Moscow hub.
AeroVironment launches advanced safety device on its charger
At ProMat 2017 AeroVironment has launched a patent-pending advanced version of its ConnectRx for its PosiCharge ProCore line of electric forklift chargers for the materials handling industry.
According to the NIST White Paper entitled “Towards Improved Forklift Safety,” more than 100,000 forklift accidents occur every year in the US. The study also reports that one in six US workplace deaths are caused by forklift accidents. Solutions that enhance forklift safety can positively impact workplace productivity and profitability.
The advanced ConnectRx, a standard feature on PosiCharge ProCore, is a sophisticated cable connector health monitoring technology designed to detect connector abnormalities during charging sessions. It immediately alerts users to possible charger and battery output problems that could potentially result in damage to the forklifts or facilities and injuries to employees. In addition to the advanced ConnectRx, PosiCharge ProCore’s anti-arc disconnect feature protects the operator and minimises wear on the connectors. ProCore’s advanced charge algorithm manages voltage and battery electrolyte temperatures in real time and actively compensates for superior battery gassing control. The low overcharge and accurate current control featured in ProCore contributes to extended battery life and increased safety.
The new, advanced ConnectRx will be available in the spring of 2017 as a standard feature on the PosiCharge ProCore series.
Cavotec: more sales to the US
Cavotec’s 2500+ 400Hz solid state frequency converter units are continuing to gain traction in the GSE market, with the US being the latest in a growing number of countries where the unit is safely and efficiently meeting the greater power demands of modern passenger aircraft.
Both Miami International airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International have selected the unique electrical and communication technological advances of the 2500+, where the units will power a wide variety of aircraft. Featuring the intuitive Skyway Interface and communication platform, the 2500+ helps these airports to make considerable improvements in operational efficiency and data collection.
“The Skyway Interface is one of our customers’ favourite features of the 2500+ because it provides operators with easy access to the procedures that they use most frequently,” explains Felix Covarrubias, Cavotec’s VP of Global Airport Power Systems.
New from Phoenix is the HS-5K
This tractor is capable of towing 55,000 pounds of cargo at speeds up to 25 mph. The model comprises a shortened Ford 350 DRW drive, cab and chassis, while the suspension is modified to accommodate the shortened (105 inch) wheelbase. All the standard factory original equipment is retained on the chassis. Heavy steel plate is utilised for the rear bumper whilst the front benefits from a heavy bumper with both grille and side protection guards. The rear deck has room for loose bags and cargo and the tractor is finished off with an E hitch.
ULD merger will grow network
ULD activity has been in the news again.
ACL Airshop, a company that leases, sells, repairs and manages ULDs and cargo net supplies, has announced that it is to merge with Ranger Airshop, the investment arm of Ranger Aerospace. The initiative will allow a focus on the growth of ACL’s network, which is expected to double from the current 45,000 ULDs to 100,000 units.
According to Steve Townes, President and founder of Ranger Aerospace, this move has been some 16 years in the making. “The intent is to grow the ULD network strategically,” he commented. In the next five to seven years, the new entity will consolidate its operation in certain of its locations.
Auction time in Brazil
Having bid a total of US$1.19bn, three companies are now set to operate four airports in Brazil.
Germany-based Fraport has won the concession for the airports of Fortaleza (30 years) and Porto Alegre (for 25 years); part of the deal will involve it paying the government 5% of the airports’ annual revenues. Zurich airport operator Flughafen Zurich was successful in its bid for the concession to operate Hercílio Luz airport in Florianópolis: this contract will run for 30 years. Elsewhere, Vinci gained the right to operate Magalhaes airport in Salvador, also for a 30 year contract.
In all, the quartet account for just over 11% of Brazilian passenger traffic.
On a charge at 5,000
LEKTRO has reached a milestone, having delivering its five thousandth aircraft tug to American Airlines at Los Angeles International airport. To date, LEKTRO has produced more towbarless aircraft tugs than any other manufacturer in the world. The tug, a model AP8950SDB-AL-250, is the Oregon based company’s largest pushback offering, capable of handling aircraft up to 280,000 pounds, such as the Boeing 757. It represents an upgraded version of LEKTRO’s popular AP8950SDB-AL-200, which was introduced in 2014 and designed to handle aircraft up to 210,000 pounds like the A321 and B737. The new tugs are certified to handle every narrow body aircraft in American’s fleet and every regional aircraft it and its sister regional carriers operate.
The new units replace several of American Airlines’ conventional diesel tractors and should ensure safe and reliable pushback operations, while lowering the overall carbon emission levels at the airport.
Virgin Atlantic Cargo adds new London to Seattle route
Virgin Atlantic Cargo has launched a new daily service from London to Seattle, in addition to bolstering its services from Manchester to the US with additional flights.
Senior Vice President, Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, John Lloyd, commented on the new route, which is to join the airline’s network on March 26. “Seattle is in the top 15 import/export markets for cargo between the UK and US and the level of interest from customers since we announced plans to start the route last year indicates we can gain a strong share of the market,” he explained, adding that the 10.2% increase in tonnages in 2016 through Seattle-Tacoma illustrate that it is a significant, growing origin, transit and destination point for cargo.
Virgin’s 2017 summer schedule also includes the launch of direct Manchester-San Francisco operations three times a week, beginning March 28. The following day a new twice-weekly service from Manchester to Boston will begin, while April will see the launch of a weekly service from Gatwick to Varadero in Cuba and, at the end of May, daily Manchester-New York JFK flights will commence.
With 12 US gateways in operation, Virgin already provides some 30% of transatlantic cargo capacity and tonnage from the UK to the US rose by 8.4% year-on-year in 2016. Lloyd concludes: “2016 was a challenging year for everyone so we are very encouraged by the growth in our volumes from the UK to the US… With the launch of Seattle and our commitment to customers in the North of England we are optimistic of further growth in 2017.”
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.