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Cargo Facts Summit 2022 stage

PODCAST: Highlights from Cargo Facts Symposium 2022

 

Listen to an episode of the “Cargo Facts Connect” podcast as the team reflects back on some of the highlights from Cargo Facts Symposium 2022, and discusses the 777F vs A350F panel, the current state of conversions and the impact of regional freighters on the global air cargo market.

Additionally, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has engaged electrical power on its first 777-300ERSF prototype after its conversion, meaning IAI is on track for its anticipated first flight in November. Tune in for a discussion of these topics and more for the week ended Oct. 28, 2022.

A transcript is available below. This transcript has been generated by software and is being presented as is. Some transcription errors may remain.

Andrew Crider
Hello, and welcome to this episode of cargo facts connect the podcast of cargo facts, the newsletter of record for the air cargo and freighter aircraft industries for over 40 years. I’m your host Andrew Crider, associate editor of cargo facts.

Jeff Lee
And I’m Jeff Lee, editor of cargo facts.

Andrew Crider
I want to wind the clock back to early June when cargo facts first reported that European Aviation Group had launched European design services with the intention to modify fleet of a340 600s that was owned by European cargo limited they were going to modify these freighters and an unknown to us number in Bournemouth in the United Kingdom. This would be a Class E freighter STC trying to get around the European Union aviation safety agencies bad on on traders. Now. We will have more to report on this later. But it seems like one of the a340 600s belonging to European cargo has been moved from storage in Spain to Bournemouth as recently as October 24, raising an eyebrow over here the cargo facts department,

Jeff Lee
but let me just raise another eyebrow because the aircraft you were talking about was an A340 500. Right. And we don’t know whether that’s involved or how it’s involved. But there is actually already a fleet of a340 600s in Bournemouth. And I think they’re getting pretty close. I don’t know what the how close they are to certification. But I did see that a couple of them appear to have made fights of some sort. Will, we’re trying to find out more. But it is an interesting project. And that reminds me of a story we broke at cargo facts symposium, actually, because we talked to avensis aviation, about their interesting project to modify, to build on their class E modification by adding two elevators to between the main deck and the lower hold. They did mention that apart from a 330s, they were also looking at the 340s for that particular modification, then you do have to wonder whether there are any links between these projects. There might not be been it is interesting. And it’s just interesting that the 340 600 is finding, you know, perhaps finding some kind of niche in, in these kinds of cargo operations. And certainly with its long views, large and large volume. You can see the appeal or but you know, with four engines and fuel prices these days. That’s also I think, something to keep in mind, isn’t it?

Andrew Crider
I’m really happy to see the 340 get an opportunity to hopefully find your stride in the cargo markets. I mean, it’s such a wonderful aircraft as far as what it’s capable of, and truly a modern wide body. But everyone knows that the 340 wasn’t able to achieve what it was designed for or marketed for

Jeff Lee
I’ve flown a couple of them actually. Have you?

Andrew Crider
No, I have not

Jeff Lee
Four engines also that that just sorry. Because I was gonna say I flew on I think I’ve flown on a couple of Virgin Atlantic’s A340 600s. And of course, they’re one of their slogans back in those days was four four or four engines for long haul. Right? I don’t know if you remember that. But

Andrew Crider
I do not. What year was that? Were you flying on the virgin atlantic a340s?

Jeff Lee
I think 2006 or seven.

Andrew Crider
A test to you that I’m going to put on on the pod is to find the MSN of the aircraft that you flew on and hopefully it can be we can place bets on which class E freighter conversion STC that that aircraft becomes party to crossing my fingers that it wasn’t grabbed.

Jeff Lee
Yeah, remember, I think the registration was but

Andrew Crider
what a crowning achievement? I just I did want to bring your eyes back to CFS because we’re talking about the a340. It was all about timing for when that aircraft hit the market. And from your panel, the triple seven versus the a 350. It seemed like timing is important for the introduction for some of these aircraft.

Jeff Lee
That’s right. And since you mentioned that panel, I mean, I think that was a very fun one. And again, I will say that it made all the difference having one operator, and that operator being silk way, because they have both the current triple seven freighter and the 350 freighter on order. And so it was good to hear from Ali Hajiyev, you know, the story behind why that carrier ordered both types. And again, it was actually part of it was, it was a matter of timing. But they also believe that the two can complement each other, and they will find a use for for the two types. Now, it’s also interesting because they have 747 400, and dash eights. And yes, they do eventually plan to start retiring the older four hundreds. But, you know, this means that they will, for a period of time have three types, the 747, dash eight, triple seven and a 350. But more to your point about timing, of course, there’s the A350 freighter that is coming in 2025. Then there’s the triple seven dash eight F coming in 27. But as well, we have three triple seven conversion programs. And the most advanced of those is IAIs triple seven 300 ersf. And the point I want to make about that particular project is that they are very, very close to the first test flight. And actually Rafi, who was on that panel, but since last week, he has updated us on the progress. And they’ve now apart from jacking down the aircraft. They’ve now actually powered on that prototype aircraft. And so it’s another milestone on the way to that first flight, which is still expected to take place before the end of the year.

Andrew Crider
I guess you could say for our listeners in the United States, in the spirit of Halloween, it’s alive.

Jeff Lee
It’s alive and will be flying too pretty soon. But I guess the next milestone before the first test flight will be just completing all the ground checks. And, you know all the instrumentation and all that. But hopefully that doesn’t take too long and we will see this prototype triple seven 300 ersf fIying and leaving you know Tel Aviv for the first time in a while.

Andrew Crider
That’s going to be a monumental day to see that aircraft roll out of the hangar I run the synopsis of your panel and I do think that production rate for the triple seven freighters is going to matter a lot as far as swaying customers as far as between the triple seven dash eight and the A 350 words that Ali from Silk way shared were really impactful. And with these conversion programs, they may be precursors and change the tide of war between the dash eight and the 350 In my humble opinion, but as far as new freighters and Freighter technologies. Just a couple of days ago, we received the first flight of a four engine cargo drone back in China, this drone being the twin tail Scorpion D. Now what I love about this drone is its with its four engines, which we didn’t The name is pretty sick it’s four engines make it unique. In the drone space we haven’t seen that before. At this time it didn’t look to be conventional. We can only confirm that from the images the drone that appear to show radiators on top of the its four engine nacelles. Now this drone will be capable of carrying around like 1.5 tonnes. So take takeoff weight of 4.35 tonnes which puts it in line with the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan which you know some something about that that size category we’re seeing a lot of development in this waters, the autonomous space goes and Cessna 208 caravan, of course, is the platform being worked on by reliable robotics. And XWing which were panelist in our alternative aircraft panel at CFS. So definitely more watch as far as the alternate aircraft types.

Jeff Lee
So let me just ask you on the topic of CFS, how was your first CFS? How did you find it?

Andrew Crider
it was such an eye opening experience, it makes me the insights provided really have changed my thinking on the broader freighter space and I want to highlight the panel on market values as far as values 737 800. And that makes me reimagine a lot of the reporting that we did on 737 800 developments in China and then 737 classic retention in Asia. And I’m going to be thinking about this this panel. Because I I expect that we’re going to continue to see a lot of the both 737 classic and 737 next gen development in Latin America in the months to come.

Jeff Lee
I know of a few interesting developments in this space that are coming up pretty soon too. And I was gonna you know, remember how we were making fun of the fact that every time we did the podcast, we had to mention some kind of 737 800 redelivery or order.

Andrew Crider
Oh, it wasn’t a forced thing we didn’t, because it was what we wanted to do. But yeah, you were saying?

Jeff Lee
No, I’m just saying there are more of those to come, including some pretty interesting ones, I think. So.

Andrew Crider
Now, when you when you think you have 737s in Latin America, my mind immediately jumps to Mercado Libre, which is driving e commerce in that section. In that growth won’t necessarily be just aligned with 737s. Another thing that we learned at the panel was our regional freighters not maybe not necessarily for E commerce but regional freighters manufactured by ATR and Bombardier are seeing huge growth potential in Latin America and in Africa, regionally, but back to the Mercado libre driving the growth of freighters in in Latin America, we saw huge monumental news in the E commerce market during CFS. Didn’t we Jeff? What I was trying to point to was a story that you wrote is I blinked my eyes and you would have written the story was the Amazon.

Jeff Lee
Oh you were talking about 737s so that’s where my mind was, you succeeded in tricking me. But the yes, the moment that Amazon A330 story. And I think there are, obviously a few interesting things about this, right. So Hawaiian Airlines, which already operates the passenger a330s. But they’re now going to be flying, freighters A330 Freighters for the first time. And so this is the new CMI partner for Amazon. And the other interesting thing, one of the other interesting things is that we know the exact identities of these 10 aircraft and they include four basically brand new frames that will make great freighters because these are these were destined for The hainan group in China, but they never ended service. And so they’ve just been sitting there. So the fact that these are going into conversion, like that is just pretty, pretty interesting. I mean, that’s, I think I think the first one is going into conversion very, very soon. And I think generally, it’s just one thing that that does need some clarification is that these are Amazon confirmed to us that these are replacing the older seven six sevens flying domestically within the US. And, of course, these are include some two hundreds that are operated by ATSGs airlines. So these aren’t, yes, they’re obviously, you know, larger than the 767 2 Hundreds, but they’re not. I mean that they’re being added to the network, but the some of the older planes that were also coming out of the network, so yes, there will be some volume growth, but for the most, this is more a renewal and replacement.

Andrew Crider
It begs the question. Do you think that these the freighters and will be retired from the Amazon fleet or Amazon contracted fleet so to speak? Do you think that they’re going to continue flying for other customers? Are we going to see some genuine retirements

Jeff Lee
I think I think we will see probably than joining other carriers because we certainly have seen older two hundreds joining you know the likes of Raya in Malaysia, possibly astral aviation in Kenya. And, you know, one joined star air what is now known as maersk air cargo but last year.

Andrew Crider
More things for us to speculate and for us to cover and on that, that’s all the time that we have for today. For more multimedia coverage like this, search cargo Facts connect on iTunes and Spotify and search Cargo facts.com. Thank you very much for joining us.

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