VIDEO: Everyone's a winner at the Cargo Airline of the Year Awards 2017

24 / 04 / 2017

American Airlines was voted Cargo Airline of the Year 2017 as airfreight’s shining stars took centre stage at Air Cargo News’ industry Oscars, now in their 34th year. Click here for a full list of winners.

American Airlines, doubly successful on the night with a regional Americas garland, secured the highest total number of votes cast by Air Cargo News readers to retain its top spot on the podium for the third successive year.

The glittering Lancaster London Hotel event was presented by comedy actor Stephen Mangan who entertained the audience of more than 300 people with gentle humour aimed at his own success, as winner of the UK’s celebrity Mastermind, and at the funnier side of our global industry.

A total of 15 categories featured in the 2017 Cargo Airline of the Year awards, based on a mix of direct voting more than 18,000 supply chain professionals, company submissions and two awards within the gift of the editorial team at Air Cargo News.

Shippers, freight forwarders and other industry sectors were asked to vote on the Air Cargo News website over a two month period for the airline that provides the best overall customer experience and service provider in each region.

South African Airlines won the Best Cargo Airline–Africa award, sponsored by charter broker Chapman Freeborn.

South African Airways’ cargo division has navigated difficult market conditions by creating efficiencies within the organisation but at the same time moving closer to its customers by re-designing processes around their needs.

The trophy was presented to Colin Smith of SAA by Chapman Freeborn’s chief operating officer, Shahe Ouzounian.

The Best Cargo Airline–Americas category was presented to Andy Rubin head of strategy at American Airlines by Air Cargo News publisher Andy Salter, managing director of DVV Intl.

Over the last 12 months, American Airlines Cargo has focused on developing its pharma offering with widebody links to the manufacturing hub of San Juan and a new transit cooler at Dallas Fort Worth

The Best Cargo Airline–Asia-Pacific category, sponsored by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd (Hactl), was won by Etihad Cargo.

From its hub in Abu Dhabi, the Middle Eastern airline has invested in a range of freighter and bellyhold services connecting the Asia Pacific region to the rest of the world. Its freighter aircraft offer links to Beijing, Shanghai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Colombo, Chennai, Dhaka, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chittagong and New Delhi.

The Asia-Pacific award was presented to Mick Mackenzie, manager cargo UK & Ireland for Etihad Cargo, by Hactl executive director Vivien Lau.

Lufthansa Cargo won the Best Cargo Airline–Europe trophy. The German flag carrier has been tackling current market conditions head on, looking to create efficiencies within the business organisation while also investing in new technologies to drive digitisation, developing new product offerings and enhancing its partnership programme.

Lufthansa Cargo’s Phil Cimpoias, sales & handling manager UK, and Jacqueline Casini, head of corporate communications, accepted the European trophy from Gavin Murray, commercial director of Air Cargo News.

The Best Cargo Airline–Middle East, voted for by our readers, was Emirates SkyCargo, in an award sponsored by ACP Worldwide.

Emirates SkyCargo is at the forefront of the industry when it comes to investments in new products and services. Most recently, the Dubai carrier revealed a further enhancement of its perishables offering, with investments in new SkyFresh products and cool dollies at its home hub.

The Middle East engraved trophy was presented to Ross Barnett - Cargo Manager UK for Emirates SkyCargo by ACP Worldwide director, Rod Entwistle.

The specialist main deck award for the Best Cargo Airline─All Cargo category, sponsored by Air Charter Service, went to Cargolux.

Luxembourg-headquartered Cargolux continued with the expansion of its fleet last year and added new destinations to its network portfolio. The airline took delivery of its 14th Boeing 747-8 freighter, added Oslo as a destination and launched its CV select and CV Select Plus products, while also continuing to push forward with green initiatives.

The all-cargo award was presented to Gerard ter Bruggen by Air Charter Service’s Global Cargo Director Dan Morgan-Evans.

The Freight Forwarder of the Year award, sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo, went to Kuehne + Nagel (K+N). This award, awarded by the editorial team, was in recognition of K+N’s consistent investment in the pharmaceuticals supply chain and its dedication to the highest standards in handling life-saving medicines.

In particular, the award recognised the global forwarder’s certification for IATA's Center of Excellence for Independent Validators for pharmaceutical handling (CEIV Pharma).

In an industry first, K+N’s CEIV Pharma certification covered its entire KN PharmaChain GxP air network, currently including 86 locations on all continents.

The freight forwarder award was presented to Jeanne-Mari van Rooyen, Airfreight Manager of K+N, by Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s director of cargo sales, Steve Buckerfield

The hotly contended Charter Broker award, sponsored by Liege Airport, was won by Chapman Freeborn, with Air Charter Service highly commended.

The judges praised Chapman Freeborn for its impressive complex work in delivering humanitarian aid, which saw the co-ordinated airdrop of thousands of tons of aid, most notably in South Sudan.

Chapman Freeborn has also established a Boeing 747-400 freighter service between the US and Europe for Senator International, while also managing the spare ad hoc capacity on the aircraft.

It rejects the one-size-fits-all approach to customer service, encouraging instead its people to be creative and innovative in delivering the best solution for the customer.

The charter broker award was presented to Shahe Ouzounian, chief operating officer of Chapman Freeborn by Liege Airport’s vice president cargo, Steven Verhasselt.

The General Sales Agent (GSA) award, sponsored by American Airlines, went to FlyUs, whose innovative approach and investment in technology was supported by a number of customer testimonials.

Since launching in 2004, FlyUs has grown to 19 countries, generating 70m kilos and $100m of revenue for its airline customers per year. FlyUs has developed the FlyUs Track and Trace APP which gives customers 24/7 access while on the move to track all shipments booked on FlyUs client airlines.

Carlo De Haas, managing director, FlyUs Group, received the GSA award from American Airlines’ head of strategy, Andy Rubin.

The Ground Handler award, sponsored by IATA, was won by dnata, with Hactl highly commended.

Dnata has invested consistently in its hub portfolio around the world, including a major investment in pharmaceuticals handling at its Dubai base. It has also completed a new IATA safety and security audit for its ground operations at London Heathrow, the tenth such station to complete IATA's Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO).

The ground handler award was presented to Gary Morgan, chief executive dnata UK, by Glyn Hughes, global head of cargo for IATA.

The new Innovation award, sponsored by Heathrow Airport, went to Hactl, with particular reference to its use of mobile technology and truck flow management catching the judges’ eyes.

Hactl has integrated a mobile app and ANPR technology to speed up processing of vehicles, improve the customers’ experience and reduce their costs.  This is just one of the 26 projects that Hactl’s Performance Enhancement team are working on to improve efficiency for airline customers.

Heathrow Cargo’s head of cargo, Nick Platts, presented the award to Hactl Executive Director Vivien Lau

The two airport awards, for cargo hubs below 1m tonnes and above 1m tonnes, were sponsored by Saudia Cargo.

The winning Airport in the less than 1m tonnes category was Belgian hub, Liege Airport.

Liege Airport and its Cargo Community are using dedicated working groups to improve the efficiency of cargo moving in and out of the airport.

Last year, the airport opened dedicated equine infrastructure, The Horse Inn, and successfully managed the departures and returns of the Rio Olympics runners.

The winning Airport in the more than 1m tonnes category was Changi Airport Singapore.

Changi chalked up a handled volume increase of 6.3% to just under 2m tonnes in 2016, welcoming two new freighter operators. Last year it formed a community of cargo partners to attain IATA’s Center of Excellence for Independent Validators on pharmaceutical handling (CEIV Pharma) certification.

In October 2016, the DHL Express South Asia Hub, a 24-hour express hub facility located within Changi Airfreight Centre, was officially opened. SATS’ e-commerce AirHub is expected to open later in 2017

Chris Notter, executive director operations performance for Saudia Cargo, accepted the award on behalf Changi from host presenter Stephen Mangan.

Among the deserving winners, the Hall of Fame 2017 award was presented to Lise-Marie Turpin, vice president, Air Canada Cargo, who retires from the industry at the end this month (April 2017) after leading the Canadian carrier out of the global downturn in 2008 and introducing a successful freighter partnership with Cargojet in the latter part of 2016.

Turpin was unable to travel to London due to the a demanding handover schedule to her successor Tim Strauss, but received her award in person from Air Cargo News editor Roger Hailey in a recorded video link from Montreal.

Hailey said of the awards: “Once again, the air cargo industry has proven that innovation and customer service go hand in hand with efficient and secure global supply chains.

“It has been an interesting 12 months, with the arrival of Amazon leasing 40 Boeing 767 freighters in the US domestic overnight market, a growing role for e-commerce for traditional air cargo carriers and signs of a sustained uptick in both global volumes and yields, both at the end of 2016 and into this year.”

Of the awards, Hailey said: “It is a night of worthy winners, and a great social occasion that brought together so many industry friends who work together in partnership to make air cargo the key enabler of economic growth worldwide.

“Congratulations to all those who won an award. You are a credit to the industry.”

The gala awards night, which saw many in the audience fly in to London from all over the world, is also an opportunity for industry networking on a global scale.

In addition to good fellowship and industry gossip in the relaxed atmosphere and plush surroundings of the Lancaster London Hotel, there was plenty of time to dance the night away.

Special thanks also to Brussels Airport, which sponsored the chocolates, and to Prestwick Airport, which provided the flowers.

It was another fantastic night when industry excellence received the recognition it deserves in keeping global supply chains working.

All the team at Air Cargo News is already looking forward to next year’s event, in 2018. Watch our website for details.

Click here for a full list of winners.