Air Carriers Upgrade Service

Overall available tonne kilometers (capacity) rose at a higher rate than demand in all regions, observed Transport Intelligence. Airlines were providing additional capacity for the growing number of passengers, said the U.K.-based analyst firm, leading to additional belly capacity what would have the effect of reducing underlying rates. Carriers would continue to pass on fuel surcharges, however.

Recent traffic statistics from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicated freight traffic grew 2.2% in July vs. the same period a year earlier. Year to date, freight grew 3.5%

Leading the growth in July was the Asia-Pacific region with a 3.7% rise. North America and Europe experienced slight drops in July. In the first seven months of 2005, Asia-Pacific traffic grew 4.9% while Europe rose 1.7%. North America remained flat.

In related new, an increase in second quarter revenues at Pilot Air Freight was the result of enhanced services, said the company. Revenues were $72.9 million in the second quarter, up 7.8% over the same period a year earlier. First half revenues reached $139.8 million, a 6.3% increase. Richard G. Phillips, chairman, president and CEO of Pilot, said the company’s Special Services product helped drive revenues in the business-to-business sector.

In other news, Coyne Airways doubled cargo services to the Caspian region. The second weekly freighter service will operate on Wednesdays from Vatry, France to the Caspian. Coyne has a long-established freighter service on Sunday serving destinations including Tbilisi, Aktau, Atyrau and Uralsk.

Menzies Chengdu Airport Services announced it had received two contracts in Chengdu, China to support China Postal Airlines and United Eagle Airlines. China Postal Airlines operates six Boeing 737-F flights per week from Chengdu and United Eagle Airlines took delivery of its first Airbus A-320, part of a fleet of 15 aircraft it will base in Chengdu to provide domestic air freight services to the Chinese mainland.

AirBridge Cargo, Russia’s largest international scheduled cargo airline, was slated to take delivery of its third Boeing 747-F to meet peak season demand on its main trade lane between China and Europe via Russia.

Volga-Dnepr Airlines signed an agreement to acquire five new AN-124 freighters. The aircraft have a capacity of 150 tonnes and will be delivered beginning in 2008.

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