Under the Weather…
India is again proving a tough testing ground for foreign handlers.
The latest attempt by Universal Weather & Aviation to handle there has been unsuccessful, even though it tried to form a joint venture company in India in order to offer its own ground handling services. The irony is that this Houston-based company is no stranger to the Indian continent, having provided trip support for the past decade; moreover, its agents have acted in supervisory rôles for the local handlers that it uses.
According to the Indian government, a hundred percent foreign equity is not allowed when it comes to ground handling providers. The JV was applied for some 12 months back and only now has the company been notified that the application has been denied; employees of the joint venture (which is known as Universal Aero Flight Services India Private) will not therefore be granted ramp access.
Jetbridges and power for Wichita
JBT AeroTech has been awarded a contract exceeding US$8m to supply gate equipment for the Wichita Mid-Continent airport. The order, placed by the Wichita Airport Authority, includes glass-sided Jetway passenger boarding bridges, JetAire preconditioned air units and Jetpower 400 Hz ground power units. As such, it represents one of the largest orders for glass-walled boarding bridges in the US.
Collective agreement ratified
At the end of July, Servisair and Teamsters Local 419 finally ratified a collective agreement for members working at Toronto Pearson International airport. The new collective agreement will assure a continuation of service for both the traveling public and commercial cargo operations.
The agreement was reached with some assistance from the Labour Program’s Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service: this provides dispute resolution and dispute prevention assistance to trade unions and employers under the Canada Labour Code.
Were you aware that Sea-Tac’s key export is the humble cherry?
This year has been exceptional in terms of the crop yield, with experts saying that it is the second best year ever. That, in turn, has created many opportunities for extra cargo flights. Eight cargo airlines that use freighters have carried cherries this summer out of Seattle, in addition to the conventional belly cargo carriers.
Amongst the carriers that have added capacity are EVA, Asiana, China Eastern, China Airlines, Korean Air and Nippon Cargo: all have all added extra flights or charters.
At the time of writing about 22m, 20 pound boxes of cherries had been filled – with more to come.
Delta shifts stance on fuel supply
Delta Air Lines has cancelled a multi-year contract with BP with a view to exchanging refined fuels from Delta’s Trainer refinery for more jet fuel. This comes in the wake of a product exchange contract between Delta’s subsidiary Monroe Energy and BP, which was terminated at the start of July.
Delta has said that it has replaced BP with another, as yet unnamed, party. The airline added that the termination was early, but it did not say when the contract had been due to expire.
When Delta bought the 166,000 barrel per day Philadelphia refinery in mid-2012, it struck several agreements to supply crude and buy its refined products, thereby reducing its need to trade directly in the oil market. One of those was a multi-year agreement with BP, which was to buy some of the refinery’s non-jet fuel products, such as gasoline and diesel, and sell jet fuel back to Delta. It struck a similar deal with Phillips 66 to swap Trainer’s refined products for more jet fuel.
The SEC filing made no mention of another agreement from 2012, that of a three-year deal under which BP was to supply crude oil to the refinery.
Extension to screening program agreed
US Customs and Border Protection recently extended its Air Cargo Advance Screening pilot program for a further year, following representations from freight forwarding representatives. It has also reopened the application period for new participants.
In fact, the pilot scheme was set to expire in July but will now be extended until 26 July 2015.
The program, which analyzes advance data on inbound air shipments to the US in order to assess the level of risk, is currently in its pilot phase, although US Customs and Border Protection has indicated that over time it intends to expand it to apply to all inbound air cargo.