Aerospace sector rebounds from twin challenges 32

A perfect storm blew through the aerospace sector with the challenges of Covid and Brexit – but

it’s not all bad news., says

Ralph Perkins , managing director of the aviation logistics network at Davies Turner Air Cargo. Davies Turner‘s aviation

division is seeing a return to activity with its key clients, who are active in maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO), engine

leasing and parts trading. With the projected easing of

flight restrictions linked to the increased vaccination roll out in the UK, carriers are looking again at trying to rescue their summer schedules and this is leading to an upswing in aircraſt being returned to service and therefore a gradual increase in the need for preparation and maintenance checks in order for

Specialist doubles Singapore space

Specialist aerospace logistics company B&H Worldwide has doubled of the size of its operation in Singapore. A new facility next to its existing operation within the ALPS Free Trade Zone at Changi Airport will cater for business growth in one of the fastest growing aerospace markets in the world. The new unit will also provide

significant additional space to store aircraſt engines and other large specialist items requiring protection within the 28,000sq foot facility. B&H operates 24 hours a

day from Singapore and has established a control tower

operation and additional quality monitoring centre there for customers across the globe. B&H Worldwide group chief

executive Stuart Allen, said: “State-of-the-art

facilities under-

pinned by cutting edge IT and this doubling in the size of our operation here will enable us to meet the strong demand we are now seeing from customers across the aerospace industry. It will also allow us to further extend the range of additional services we can offer customers including long and short-term storage, inventory management, neutralising


unit inspection, all in accordance with EN9120:2018 requirements.”

The Rolls Royce of aircraſt engine support Freight operators are

themselves also big consumers of aircraft – and repair and maintenance services. DHL Express has just signed a

TotalCare agreement with Rolls- Royce for the Trent 700 engines that currently power its eight Airbus A330 freighter aircraft . It will also cover any Trent 700 engines that are added to the DHL fleet in the future. TotalCare is a service concept predictability

based upon

and reliability, giving DHL a secured cost of operating and maintaining the engines through a dollar-per-flying- hour payment mechanism. It will also improve aircraft availability thanks to Rolls- Royce’s

in-depth engine

knowledge drawing on the 62

million flying hours the

Trent 700 has accumulated over more than 25 years of operations. The agreement will ensure

the continuity of aftermarket support at the lowest possible maintenance cost for the DHL fleet for decades into the future. The Trent 700 delivers the

highest thrust on DHL’s A330- 200F and A330 P2F – which translates into extra payload as well as emitting less CO2 and being the most economical engine to operate. It is also the most reliable option, with 99.9% dispatch reliability. DHL’s senior vice president of

global fleet management, Geoff Kehr, said: “This frees time and resource so DHL may focus on other fleet maintenance optimisation and operational aspects.” Rolls-Royce’s vice president

customers, Hannah March, added: “This agreement is another great example of providing world-class services to DHL, enabled by the best engine for the A330 freighter, the Trent 700.”

previously grounded aircraſt to be re-introduced into service. In addition the re-entry

to service of the Boeing 737 MAX aſter extensive work to correct the safety issues that grounded the fleet means that production and delivery of the aircraſt has recommenced. This again provides a stimulus in the supply chain which includes the production of the engines, leading to a return to activity by many of the aircraſt engine leasing companies. Davies Turner Air Cargo’s

aviation division provides 24/7 aircraſt on ground and critical services as part of the specialist global Aviation Logistics Network with worldwide coverage of over 380 locations offering solutions dedicated to the industry. Davies Turner is a founder of

the network which has been operating for more than a decade and is ISO 9001 compliant and carries many aerospace-specific accreditations. Perkins says that the

challenges of capacity in the air freight market have led to an increase in demand for passenger aircraſt to be converted to freighter specification. Over 200 aircraſt have been converted from passenger to full freighter configuration since 2020 and this has stimulated a requirement for parts and spares and MRO activity. With the Covid pandemic leading to continued growth of e-commerce,

online shopping

and people working from home this has in turn fuelled demand for narrow- and wide-body passenger aircraſt to be converted to freighter specification.

The reduction in aircraſt fleets

has led to an increase in “parting out” of older and less fuel efficient aircraſt. Many leasing companies have used this opportunity to reduce the number of aged aircraſt in their portfolios and break them for parts and spares, the most valuable assets being the engines. The parting out of these aircraſt

stimulates increased

inventory in the used parts supply chain and drives down pricing of spare parts. This makes it more viable for carriers that operate or own their aircraſt, as opposed to leasing them, to maintain some of their older fleets for longer as the spare parts inventory to support their lifespan grows and becomes relatively cheap, added to the still fairly stable fuel price. The decision to replace with newer more costly aircraſt and

Heavyliſt carrier to the stars

Heavylift carrier Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered a -25 full- scale mockup from Moscow to Blagoveshchensk on board its An-124-100 freighter. A five-tonne full-scale overall

assembly of the spacecraft designed and manufactured by NPO Lavochkin, was flown to Ignatyevo airport for trucking to the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The mockup is intended for complex tests of technical means and systems.

The Luna-25 space

expedition will give scientists a view of the colonisation prospects of planets

in the

solar system; understand the mechanisms of their origin, the appearance of water and, consequently, life on Earth. Volga-Dnepr Airlines

commercial director, Ekaterina Andreeva,


“This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of our effective cooperation with

NPO Lavochkin. Since 1996 not only have we transported over 300 tonnes of dedicated aerospace

equipment with

them but have significantly expanded the scope of our services – from air freight to

document processing,

airport ground handling, dangerous goods declaration, trucking

transportation and

other components of smart logistics. We are proud to be part of such major aerospace

Issue 4 2021 - Freight Business Journal


or lease arrangements can be delayed until the market for travel becomes more stable. In conclusion, says Perkins,

while it has been an undeniably difficult time there are opportunities in this sector which is forecast by most analysts to return to pre Covid levels by 2024. Organisations that continue to provide value added services to the aerospace industry and can help in stripping away unwanted costs, including logistics operators, will continue to prosper as all sectors look for options to reduce capital outlay and free up capital, either in redundant airframes or parts and spares that are not needed but can be traded. This also applies to logistics organisations that operate logistics and forwarding services.

projects which are still being implemented despite the current challenging situation and look forward to supporting our customers with complex logistics solutions.” Volga-Dnepr

offers dedicated solutions for its

aerospace customers and over the past 30 years its An-124- 100/150 and Il-76TD-90VD freighters have accomplished over 1,000 flights delivering almost 48,000 tonnes of satellite equipment, aeroplane parts, fuselages, engines, helicopters and other cargo.

UPS to exploit new vertical market

Freight companies are not only involved in moving parts and material – sometimes they themselves find themselves at the cutting-edge of the aerospace industry itself. Earlier this year, UPS’s Flight

Forward subsidiary said that it planned to purchase electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraſt from Beta Technologies for small and mid- size markets. These ‘whisper quiet’ aircraſt will take off and land at UPS facilities. Their 1,400lb cargo capacity is

ideally suited for time-sensitive deliveries that would otherwise fly on small fixed-wing aircraſt. UPS says the aircraſt will benefit healthcare providers, small and medium-sized businesses and other companies in smaller communities. With a 250-mile range and cruising speed of up

to 170 miles per hour, UPS says they could operate a series of short routes, or one long route, on a single charge. However,

it is no mere

green stunt, says UPS chief information and engineering officer, Juan Perez: “This is all about innovation with a focus on returns for our business, our customers, and the environment. These new aircraſt will create operational efficiencies in our business, open possibilities for new services and serve as a foundation for future solutions to reduce the emissions profile of our air and ground operation.” The Beta

aircraſt has four

fixed vertical liſt propellers and one pusher propeller for forward flight. It can charge in an hour or less and produces no operational emissions. The

company’s founder and chief executive, Kyle Clark adds: “By utilising vertical take-offs and landings, we can turn relatively small spaces at existing UPS facilities into a micro air feeder network without the noise or operating emissions of traditional aircraſt.” UPS Flight Forward received

the first US Federal Aviation Administration certification to operate a drone airline. It is already operating daily revenue- generating flights with drones but the latest certification allows it to fly payloads of up to 7,500lbs either with an operator or autonomously. Beta has already completed interstate

an flight from its

Plattsburgh, NY test facility to its Burlington, Vt. headquarters. In accordance with FAA protocols for an experimental aircraſt to

fly beyond its home airport, it had to complete rigorous testing to ensure reliable and predictable behaviour of the aircraſt. In the same week, the company set a new personal- best in range while also reaching 8,000 feet in altitude. The first ten Beta aircraſt are

scheduled to begin arriving in 2024, with an option to purchase up to 150. Aſter the batteries’ first life

cycle in the aircraſt concludes, they can be used in the charging stations that recharge the aircraſt’s on board batteries or in UPS’s fleet of electric ground vehicles. The carrier currently operates more than 12,000 alternative fuel and advanced technology

vehicles, and

announced a commitment to purchase up to 10,000 ‘Arrival’ models.

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