¦ The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced a revised global financial forecast predicting airline losses totaling US$11 billion in 2009. This is US$2 billion worse than the previously projected US$9 billion loss due to rising fuel prices and exceptionally weak yields. Industry revenues for the year are expected to fall by US$80 billion (15 percent) to US$455 billion compared with 2008 levels. IATA also revised its loss estimates for 2008 from a loss of US$10.4 billion to a loss of US$16.8 billion.
¦ Clyde Machines Inc. of Glenwood, Minn., recently introduced a line of towable passenger access stairs. The stairs are available in three different height models to accommodate all popular aircraft. The 12-volt, dual battery-powered LED lighting system can go several overnight shifts before charging is necessary. A built-in timer prevents inadvertent use of the lights when not required, thus extending the duty cycle, according to the company.
¦ Swissport International has introduced a new self-service facility for reporting lost baggage. The new “Lost & Found Self-Service Kiosk” enables any traveler who finds that their baggage is missing on arrival at Geneva Airport to enter all the relevant details and obtain the latest information on their delayed or missing bag. Swissport’s new facility came into use at the end of August, and is available to travelers on SWISS, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, FlyBaboo, Alitalia, Air Malta and further air carriers.
¦ Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. Inc., Industrial Concepts Incorporated (ICI) and AutoGuide gathered recently for an open house to present new concepts in Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) technologies. Open to the public, the event highlighted available AGV options and educated consumers on the advantages of the fully automated industrial equipment. The open house offered various demonstrations, including a brief presentation on how businesses can integrate low-cost AGV systems into their operations. A floor demonstration showcased the maneuvering and towing capabilities of Toyota’s AGV products and AutoGuide’s AGVs, along with the debut of ICI’s PC-based AGV traffic control software Automated Vehicle Intersection Navigational Utility (AVINU).
¦ Garsite announced that it now offers stainless steel interior linings and fittings for its fuel storage tanks. Through its relationship with its sister company, Walker Stainless, Garsite is able to offer the stainless steel lines and fittings at the same price as an epoxy coated carbon steel tank. Walker Stainless manufactures stainless steel tanks for the dairy, pharmaceutical and ethanol industries.
¦ AERO Specialties announced it will introduce six new ground support equipment products in its expanded booth (No. 1811) at NBAA’s Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 20-22. Four products are part of exclusive distributor agreements with major manufacturers (Eagle Tugs, TLD, JetGo, and Wainbee), and two products are manufactured by AERO Specialties in Boise, Idaho.
¦ The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), reported that passenger revenue, based on a sample group of carriers, fell 21 percent in August 2009 versus the same month in 2008 – the 10th consecutive month in which passenger revenue has declined from the prior year. Six percent fewer passengers traveled on U.S. airlines in August while the average price to fly one mile fell 17 percent, a slight improvement over the 18 percent year-over-year yield decline observed in July. Revenue declines extended beyond the domestic United States to the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and Latin markets. U.S. airlines saw cargo revenue ton miles decline 13 percent year-over-year (11 percent domestically and 15 percent internationally) in July 2009, the 12th consecutive month of declining volumes.
¦ Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A. Inc., announced the expansion of its line of large IC pneumatic lift trucks to include four new models, 33,000-, 40,000-, 44,000- and 51,000-pound capacities at a 36” load center. Designed for challenging work environments, the expanded product line is built to handle more applications, including ports, construction, lumber yards, metal fabricators, and concrete and masonry yards.
¦ The Massachusetts Port Authority Board approved a $3 million loan to Delta Air Lines for the purchase of battery-powered baggage cart tugs and battery-powered baggage conveyor belt vehicles which will reduce emissions and improve the air quality around Boston Logan International Airport. As part of the replacement of Terminal A, Delta agreed to introduce battery-powered tugs and belt loaders for their ground service fleet at Terminal A, which opened in 2005. Delta will purchase 50 electric baggage cart tugs, 25 electric baggage conveyor belt vehicles, and charging stations for each vehicle. Terminal A is the world’s first LEED certified airline terminal. The conversion of the fleet is due to occur by the end of 2009.
¦ Menzies announced the award of the ground handling contract by Air Berlin in Gothenburg, which commenced on Aug. 31, 2009. The award of the ground handling contract contributes to the development of our Gothenburg - Landvetter station, according to the company. It will provide both passenger and ramp handling services to Air Berlin, based on six flights per week for a contract period of three years. Since May 2009, Menzies has also been handling Air Berlin at Oslo Airport.
¦ Arrow Cargo, a Miami-based freighter operator covering the whole of Central and South America, has appointed Unitpool to secure its ULD supply and management requirements. According to the company, working with Unitpool will provide Arrow with the flexibility and reliability that it needs to secure the commitments of its scheduled and charter operations, and to focus on its growth plans outside of South America. The agreement, which includes the acquisition of the Arrow’s ULDs, full management services,repairs, procurement and integration within Unitpool’s R7 fleet, will commence September 1, 2009.
¦ Pendulum Services LLC announced that it has signed a teaming agreement with I.D. Systems Inc. to supply I.D. Systems’ PowerFleet® and AVRamp® vehicle management systems to the U.S. military and other U.S. Government customers. Under the terms of the agreement, Pendulum is an authorized partner of I.D. Systems, providing the wireless technology provider’s comprehensive industrial fleet management solutions as sales or services.
¦ ASIG® announced today that it has renewed agreements with Delta Air Lines to provide aircraft refueling services at 16 airports across the United States. Airports include Los Angeles (LAX), Baltimore Washington (BWI), Pittsburgh (PIT), San Diego (SAN), Tampa (TPA) and Bradley (BDL) International Airports.
¦ Menzies Aviation Amsterdam announced the award of the full ground handling contract by Air Arabia Maroc. The Middle East and North Africa’s leading low cost carrier commenced on August 3 a new route between Maroc and The Netherlands, initially operated three times per week by an Airbus 320. The company will provide both passenger and ramp handling services to Air Arabia Maroc. This is the second new low-cost carrier which starts an operation at Amsterdam in 2009, Norwegian being the other airline which started in April. Both new carriers are handled by the Menzies Aviation Low Cost division.
¦ National Aviation Services announced the signing of an agreement with Royal Jordanian Airlines for the provision of ground handling and support services at the Kuwait International Airport. Though Tunisair has been operating to Kuwait for a number of years now, this agreement marks the transfer of ground handling service providers. Through this agreement, NAS will provide Tunisair with airline ground handling services like ground/ramp support, passenger services and cargo management. Passengers traveling on Tunisair will have the option of two flights from Kuwait to Tunis, and through this will be able to connect to around 53 destinations worldwide. They will also be able to take advantage of other value added services provided by NAS like the Meet & Assist, the Pearl Lounge for First & Business Class Passengers and the soon to be launched exclusive Derwaza Lounge.
¦ Ascent Aviation Group announced that Aircraft Service International Group, has deployed FleetConnect at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). FleetConnect, a fuel management system from Ascent, wirelessly tracks gallons dispensed, customer name, product type, and quantity for each piece of GSE. Customers realize savings by identifying under utilized equipment, separating on-road and off-road fuel for tax purposes, eliminating handwritten fuel tickets and preventing misfuelings, according to Ascent Aviation Group.
¦ ASIG® announced that it has renewed its agreement to provide ramp handling services to Aeromexpress Cargo for an additional three years at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). ASIG has been providing Aeromexpress with ramp handling services at LAX since 2000.
People in the News
¦ Toyota Material Handling, U.S.A., Inc. (THMU) announced the retirement of its chairman and CEO Shankar Basu, effective immediately. Basu announced his successor, Brett Wood, who has served as president of TMHU since 2008. Wood will remain responsible for all operations at TMHU and serves on its board as well as TIEM’s Board of Directors. He formerly served as the company’s vice president of marketing, product and strategic planning and training operations and previously oversaw dealer development.
¦ Swissport International announced that Michel Glorieux will take over as CEO of Swissport Geneva on January 2010. Glorieux joined Swissport Geneva (from Swissair Paris) back in 1995, and has since gone on to hold various demanding management positions within the Geneva organisation. Currently Head of Passenger Services, he will be carefully prepared by Ernst Hochuli for his new duties in overall charge of Swissport’s Geneva station over the coming months.