The Week in brief
- EgyptAir is seeking to lease out up to 25 aircraft — more than one-third of its fleet — as it tries to offset the economic impact of the anti-government protests in Egypt. The carrier said in a statement that it was offering aircraft, including its latest B777-300ERs, to its Star Alliance partners, together with crew. It is also understood to have approached lessors. Eighteen days of protests across Egypt ended when President Hosni Mubarak resigned, but traffic has not recovered, forcing EgyptAir to cancel 75 percent of its flights. Chairman Hussein Massoud said the airline had grounded 40 percent of its fleet since the civil unrest began, and he told news agencies he was looking to cut working hours and offer employees unpaid leave.
- The FAA has proposed a $585,725 civil penalty against Montana-based Corporate Air for allegedly operating a Shorts SD-3-30 freighter in violation of federal regulations between between December 2009 and February 2010. Corporate Air, which operates feeder services on behalf of FedEx Express and the U.S. Postal Service, is claimed to have flown the aircraft on more than 80 occasions with corrosion that was not detected in post-flight inspections. The FAA alleges Corporate Air failed to maintain the aircraft under the company’s general maintenance manual, which requires daily post-flight inspections that include examining the exterior skin for corrosion. Structural inspections that should be carried out on the basis of flight hours or flights were also not conducted at the required intervals between March 2006 and February 2010, the FAA alleges. Corporate Air has 30 days from the receipt of the FAA’s enforcement letter to respond to the agency.
- UPS brought its behind-the-scenes logistics expertise to London Fashion Week as designers Jenny Holmes and Dimitris Theocharidis, the founders of the trendy label JENA.THEO, launched their 2011 autumn/winter collection. The express company delivered fabrics sourced in global markets such as China and Greece and transported production equipment to and from the catwalk venue. In recognition of UPS’ crucial behind-the-scenes support role, JENA.THEO designed a centerpiece dress reflecting the company’s corporate colors. UPS said fashion, textiles and luxury goods had become an important sector because of the need for precision, creativity and punctuality on a global basis.
- Ferrovial has concluded its sale of ground handler Swissport to French-based private equity firm PAI Partners. Swissport handles 3.2 million tonnes of cargo a year, operating at 90 warehouses with a total floor area of more than 360,000 square meters on behalf of 650 client companies.
- Airport operator BAA has failed in a legal challenge to overturn the ruling that it must sell London Stansted, the UK’s second largest cargo airport after Heathrow, and either Glasgow or Edinburgh airports. The UK’s Supreme Court upheld a 2009 Competition Commission ruling that a break-up was in the competitive interest.
- Extreme weather conditions in Europe and the U.S. put Envirotainer’s new RAP e2, a next-generation air cargo container for temperature-sensitive healthcare products, through its paces on its very first commercial shipment. The container, constructed in a composite sandwich material offering better insulation than traditional aluminum, received its airworthiness certificate last year from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). It has built-in electric heating and cooling capability, and can run from an external power source or its own internal batteries. Envirotainer and Air France-KLM Cargo had together carried out dry runs ahead of the first shipment, for TEVA Pharmaceutical. This was due to be carried by Air France-KLM Cargo on a KLM passenger flight from Amsterdam to New York, but was delayed by several days of poor weather. The container stayed in the warehouse, connected to the mains and maintaining the required temperature, until flights could resume.