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DRONAMICS unveiled first production Black Swan aircraft – ushering in a new era for the global freight industry

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DRONAMICS unveiled first production Black Swan aircraft – ushering in a new era for the global freight industry. Image: DRONAMICS
DRONAMICS unveiled first production Black Swan aircraft – ushering in a new era for the global freight industry. Image: DRONAMICS
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Like black swans, the ability to fly cargo at the cost of road freight has long been considered impossible to exist. 7 years ago, two brothers – Svilen and Konstantin Rangelov, an economist and an aerospace engineer started with the crazy idea of building a large unmanned drone that can carry up to 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km at up to 80% lower cost than any aircraft in existence. In a dramatic outdoor presentation during a snowstorm at Sofia Airport, the two brothers unveiled their first production unit of the Black Swan aircraft that is ready to start commercial flights for same-day delivery service in Europe early next year.

Unlike most drones, the Black Swan is actually a fixed-wing aircraft that can operate from runways as short as 400 meters, unpaved, and will enable DRONAMICS to serve customers in even the smallest and most remote communities, ushering in a whole new era in fast, affordable airfreight for the whole world.

No longer will anyone be forced to choose between low-cost road freight that can take days to deliver or fast air freight that is ever so expensive. Same day, affordable airfreight is finally here.

“The unveiling of the Black Swan represents a critical milestone in the company’s mission to enable same-day shipping for everyone everywhere. The years of hard work are paying off and as soon as we’re done with our extensive test program and obtain certification in 2022 we are going to begin commercial operations, serving customers in Europe and beyond years ahead of everyone else.” said Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder & CEO.

“For more than 100 years people have designed airplanes for humans first, meaning they were never really optimized for cargo, and in fact, they’re quite inefficient. By being extremely focused solely on carrying cargo, we were able to develop an aircraft that is able to do the job at up to 80% lower cost than any other airplane, meaning we can bring the benefits of aviation to billions of people around the world who do not get regular air service.” added Konstantin Rangelov, Co-Founder & CTO.

As the world leader in cargo drones, DRONAMICS plans to roll out a global network of droneports allowing the Black Swan to provide the critical missing “middle mile” in air freight. Whether ferrying vital supplies between islands or delivering critical spare parts deep into a country, DRONAMICS will link towns and cities around the world with each other in a way simply never possible before.

Able to run on 100% synthetic fuel, it will do so in a more environmentally friendly manner than any previous aircraft in existence, enabling global partners like DHL and Hellmann Logistics to not only serve their customers in the fastest way possible but also in the greenest one as well.

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Air Freight

Kuehne+Nagel puts into operation its first Boeing 747-8 Freighter

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Kuehne+Nagel puts into operation its first Boeing 747-8 Freighter. Image: Kuehne+Nagel
Kuehne+Nagel puts into operation its first Boeing 747-8 Freighter. Image: Kuehne+Nagel
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Kuehne+Nagel has put into operation its first Boeing 747-8 Freighter as part of the long-term charter agreement with Atlas Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. As the global market leader in air freight, Kuehne+Nagel expands its air freight network by chartering the entire capacity of the very last two 747-8F aircraft from their delivery by Boeing.

During the official ceremony at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center in Everett, WA, the Boeing 747-8F under the name “Inspire.” was handed over to Kuehne+Nagel. The most capable freighter aircraft in the world will support Kuehne+Nagel customers with highly reliable service, reduced transit times and minimised risks. In addition to the Transpacific routings, the new service will be linked with Kuehne+Nagel Intra-Asia network to provide customers with better connectivity within the growing region of Asia Pacific.

Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel, responsible for Air Logistics, comments: “It is a very special moment for us to see Kuehne+Nagel 747-8F “Inspire.” taking off. Together with the very last 747-8F that we named “Empower.”, the aircraft will support our customers with reliable and flexible solutions globally, continuing the legacy of the most incredible aviation programs in history. We are delighted to celebrate this day with our partners Atlas Air and Boeing and looking forward to see our aircraft connecting the world.”

The Boeing 747-8F serves an incredibly important role in global air freight, with advanced technology that allows for lower fuel consumption, higher capacity and unique nose-loading capability.

“This 747-8 delivery underscores the importance of our long-term strategic partnership with Kuehne+Nagel and our commitment to support their continued growth and expansion,” said John Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide. “We are very pleased to provide their first dedicated aircraft which will proudly fly in custom Kuehne+Nagel livery. The two 747-8Fs we will operate for Kuehne+Nagel will add more capacity and versatility for their network.”

With its advanced design and engines, the 747-8F offers a 16% improvement in fuel use and CO2 emissions per tonne and a 30% smaller noise footprint compared to the previous generation of aircraft.

“With Atlas Air taking delivery of the final 747s for its customer Kuehne+Nagel, this iconic Boeing airplane will continue to move cargo around the world for decades to come,” said Kim Smith, Vice President and General Manager of the Boeing 747/767 Program. “As we say goodbye to the ‘Queen of the Skies,’ we’re proud of her legacy as an airplane that propelled aviation innovation and later laid the foundation for our family of freighters.”

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Air Freight

Qatar Airways Cargo commences freighter operations to Riyadh

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Qatar Airways Cargo commences freighter operations to Riyadh. Image: Unsplash
Qatar Airways Cargo commences freighter operations to Riyadh. Image: Unsplash
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Qatar Airways Cargo has commenced freighter operations to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, effective November 2022. The Boeing 777 freighter operates twice a week, offering cargo capacity of 100 tonnes per flight.

The cargo carrier serves the cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Qassim and Medina, with a total of 96 passenger flights every week, offering its customers belly-hold cargo capacity on these flights. The addition of freighter services to and from Riyadh will boost the cargo capacity, increasing the total belly and main deck capacity to more than 900 tonnes per week to Saudi Arabia and over 900 tonnes from Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh is the capital and largest city in Saudi Arabia. The majority of the imports and exports consist of general cargo, followed by valuable/vulnerable cargo and live animals.

Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Mr. Guillaume Halleux said: “We have had a very successful 2022 so far and I am pleased to announce the freighter services to Riyadh. The launch of these services will not only provide a consistent and reliable freighter service but also contribute to the economic and trade growth between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”

Qatar Airways Cargo has a large footprint in the Middle East and serves over 22 passenger and freighter destinations in the region. Cargo capacity is also set to increase to and from other Middle Eastern cities, as the airline increases its flights from 37 to 39 for Kuwait, and from 8 to 10 for Muscat by adding two A310 freighters per week to each of these cities.

The cargo carrier recently launched its Next Generation strategy, with digitalisation as a key pillar. Qatar Airways Cargo has also pioneered its next generation Digital Experience platform with a revamped, comprehensive, and intuitive cargo customer portal called Digital Lounge bringing in added value to the airline’s customers, offering better engagement and interaction, increased productivity and time management, as well as better visibility, transparency and performance monitoring. Qatar Airways Cargo will be focusing on enhancing many of its services including booking, tracking and tracing, account management, and reporting.

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Air Freight

Etihad Cargo to launch new pharmaceutical cool chain facility

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Etihad Cargo to launch new pharmaceutical cool chain facility. Image: Etihad Cargo
Etihad Cargo to launch new pharmaceutical cool chain facility. Image: Etihad Cargo
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Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, in partnership with Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports, are preparing to launch a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical cool chain facility. Due to go into operation soon, the facility will significantly expand Abu Dhabi International Airport’s pharmaceutical handling and storage.

Etihad Cargo’s customers will benefit from the carrier’s expanded International Air Transport Association Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Pharma certification for pharmaceutical and life science logistics and provision of world-class, end-to-end temperature-controlled solutions for the transportation of pharmaceuticals across the carrier’s global network.

Prior to the opening of the new pharmaceutical facility at the carrier’s Abu Dhabi hub, Etihad Cargo transported over 50,000 tonnes of cool chain products, including pharmaceutical and healthcare products via its PharmaLife product and fresh produce via its IATA CEIV Fresh-certified FreshForward product, in the past twelve months. The launch of the expanded, dedicated pharmaceutical hub will double Abu Dhabi Airport’s cool chain storage capacity and enhance the airport’s capabilities for the storage, handling and transportation of cool chain products.

“Etihad Cargo is proud to have collaborated closely with Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports to launch the new pharmaceutical storage and handling facility. The expanded infrastructure will offer best-in-class pharmaceutical shipment solutions to Etihad Cargo’s customers and is the latest step in supporting Abu Dhabi’s vision to cement its position as a global pharmaceuticals and life sciences hub,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group. “This joint venture located at Etihad Cargo’s hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport provides the perfect location to link the Middle East to not only Asia and Europe, but also the US and Africa, so life-saving medicines and the latest treatments can be transported seamlessly around the world to those that need them the most. Investment into the carrier’s infrastructure and Abu Dhabi hub will enable Etihad Cargo to meet the future challenges of the pharma supply chain and will play a significant role in co-creating a robust and future-proof healthcare ecosystem here in the UAE and around the world.”

The additional 3,000 square-metre facility comprises the latest technology and features, including bulk loading docks with levellers, high-speed roll-up shutters, insulation and a real-time temperature monitoring system, which will enable faster and more efficient loading with stricter temperature controls, increased storage space, additional build-up and breakdown zones for improved production workflows and upgraded cool chain facilities for Etihad Cargo’s PharmaLife handling and storage operations. The new facility will also feature new x-ray screening for customs inspections within a fully temperature-controlled environment and new dedicated thermal covers.

Steven Polmans, Vice President of Business Development & Regulatory Affairs at Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ) said, “The upcoming launch of this dedicated pharmaceuticals storage and handling facility will enhance AUH’s capabilities as a cargo hub and aligns with Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global business, pharmaceutical and life science hub. The strong collaboration between Etihad Cargo, Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports will continue to increase pharmaceutical cargo volumes and further position Abu Dhabi as a major solutions provider in the logistics supply chain.”

The new cool chain facility will enable the safe storage and handling of a vast range of pharmaceutical products requiring different temperatures and conditions. To meet the requirements for transporting dangerous goods in frozen and deep-frozen conditions, PharmaLife provides premium tailored solutions to handle temperature-controlled conditions from -80 to 25 degrees Celsius via the carrier’s portfolio of leased active and hybrid containers. Etihad Cargo also utilises traditional containers that meet standard temperature requirements, from 2 to 8 and 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

Jubran Al Breiki, General Manager at Etihad Airport Services – Ground & Cargo, said, “This state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility has been made possible through the partnership between Etihad Airport Services, Etihad Cargo and Abu Dhabi Airports and the expertise each brings to a project of this scale. In addition to offering a fully equipped pharmaceuticals centre, temperature-controlled rooms and 24/7 end-to-end cargo support, the innovative systems within the facility enable pharmaceuticals to be effectively tracked and traced. This benefits Etihad Cargo’s customers and all other stakeholders with greater transparency, real-time status updates and makes the transportation of cargo quicker and more efficient.”

From the newly established pharmaceuticals hub, Etihad Cargo will continue to work closely with customers and partners to ensure the smooth, efficient, safe and on-time delivery of pharmaceuticals and life sciences products. To meet the requirements of personalised medication and treatment, including cell and gene therapies, Etihad Cargo is exploring the utilisation of artificial intelligence to improve forecasting and automation to enhance the carrier’s current capacity and capabilities.

Via the expanded cool chain facility, Etihad Cargo will also be further investing in sustainable solutions to make the transportation of pharmaceuticals more environmentally friendly, in line with Etihad Aviation Group’s sustainability plans and pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The carrier has already replaced 3,000 containers from its original aluminium unit load device fleet with a more environmentally friendly, lightweight version. More recently, Etihad Cargo entered into a memorandum of understanding with B Medical Systems to develop and launch the world’s first airline-specific passive temperature-controlled container. In the coming months, Etihad Cargo will be participating in Pharma. Aero’s green pharma lane project, expanding on the successful launch of Pharma Corridor 2.0.

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