Fueling air freight’s recovery

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Economic conditions showed considerable variation globally in 2014, but the environment for air freight demand was supportive overall, particularly for some regions and trades. Global freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) expanded 4.5% in 2014 compared to 2013, according to IATA figures, a significant improvement on growth of just 1.4% in 2013, although average general cargo yields remain depressed.

Concerns have re-emerged about the health of the global economy in early 2015 and certain business confidence indices have weakened, although there was no sign of weakness in the air freight data as the year closed in December, albeit boosted in part by uncertainty and backlogs caused by US west-coast port congestion driving some temporary conversion from sea to air. The picture has also become complicated in recent months by the rapid drop in oil prices and currency swings, including the drop in the value of the Euro, the Japanese Yen, and the Russian Rouble against other major currencies including the US Dollar, Sterling and the Swiss Franc.

Yen weakening boosts exports

The weakening of the Yen has already begun to stimulate exports from Japan, and in theory the weakened Euro could stimulate export growth from Europe, although equally it is likely to put a brake on European import demand. Lower oil prices may also stimulate some economic activity, and if it translates into lower air freight prices could also make air freight more attractive to marginal flows such as perishables. But in the medium term, probably from late 2015 or early 2016, lower oil prices will also restrict oil and gas exploration, a sector that has been increasingly important to the air freight sector, and so the overall effect on air freight demand is likely to be mixed. But it should reduce costs throughout the air logistics supply chain, and thus offer the opportunity for better margins – at least in theory!

According to IATA, recent growth in air freight volumes reflects changes in world trade activity. During the first half of 2014, air freight volumes and world trade overall went through a relatively weak patch, but there was a marked acceleration during the second half of last year. This improvement in international trade has taken place while domestic industrial production growth remained relatively stable.

The acceleration of world trade relative to domestic production in the second half of 2014 comes after several years of interruption to the previous upward trend. That flat-lining of the trade-production ratio had been bad news for demand for air freight in recent years, dampening the strength of the cyclical upturn in air freight last year. It is too soon to say whether the last half year signals a diminution of the adverse impact of recent on-shoring and trade protectionism, but it certainly is a development worth watching, IATA notes.

But there has been considerable variation in the growth in trade flows and air freight demand across the different regions. Most of the improvement in air freight in 2014 has been carried by airlines in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

Asia’s rising imports

Airlines in Asia Pacific were only the third fastest growing region in FTKs carried in 2014, expanding 5.4%, but that increase over the year still represented over 46% of the total expansion in the market. Asia Pacific’s importance for air freight developed further in two ways in 2014, not just because a large part of the world’s manufacturing takes place in this region but increasingly because there are growing numbers of middle-income consumers. Emerging Asian economies have seen a sharp rise of imports in the past six months, which has supported the air freight businesses of carriers in this region, IATA notes.

The acceleration in trade has also resulted from better performance of the Japanese economy, despite the adverse impacts of the country’s consumption tax. Japan’s exports also picked up strongly at the end of the year, boosted by the weakened Yen, while the renewed strength in Chinese exports reflected improvements in demand, particularly from the revived US economy. The performance in 2014 was a marked turnaround compared to 2013, when FTKs for airlines in Asia Pacific contracted by 1% overall.

Middle East airlines were responsible for carrying 29% of the increase in industry FTKs in 2014. Their growth rate in 2014 was 11% compared to 2013, the fastest of the regions. Trade has been increasing with Middle East countries, but the main reason is the network and capacity expansion of the region’s airlines, which contributed over 37% of the increase in worldwide air freight capacity in 2014. As a result, load factors in this region declined.

North American airlines have seen some benefit from the improving economic performance of the US during 2014, where growth has been strong for a mature region, and trade – both exports and imports – has continued to show robust growth. Airlines in this region experienced a 2.4% expansion in FTKs in 2014, a solid improvement compared with 2013 when volumes fell 0.4% for the year as a whole. However, the North American airlines have been cutting back on capacity as they seek to improve financial performance, boosting cargo load factors.

Growth in air freight volumes carried by European airlines was relatively weak in 2014, at just 2%. The Eurozone is once more close to recession and worries are increasing about another Euro crisis, while in the east there are sanctions on Russia, which is already in recession, while the Ukraine crisis poses a variety of risks. The North Atlantic and markets to Asia remain sources of potential growth, but the negative impacts of weak home markets are large. As a result European airlines have seen very little growth in FTKs and face declining load factors, IATA observes.

In Latin America, there are major economic problems in Brazil and Argentina, as well as a number of the smaller economies. Air freight, for the airlines in this region, increased only 0.1% in 2014 overall. African airlines, although carrying a small part of worldwide FTKs, saw the second-fastest expansion in air freight volumes, 6.7% in 2014 overall. Although major economies Nigeria and South Africa underperformed during parts of 2014, regional trade activity held-up, supporting demand for air transport of goods.

Yield picture

The picture in terms of yields also varies widely geographically, but is not particularly heartening to airlines as a whole. WorldACD notes that December yields, in US dollar terms, dropped by 5.6%, although it points to two developments to put this into perspective: overall yields were affected by a drop in fuel surcharges; and the relative weakness of the Euro against the US dollar contributed to an 8.5% US$-yield decrease for cargo originating in one of the largest markets, Europe. Measured in Euros, they slightly increased.

Although the December yield drop was significant in Asia Pacific as well (-5.9%), it was limited in MESA (Middle East & South Asia, -1.1%) and North America (-1.6%), adds WorldACD, which analyses more than 50 of the world’s largest cargo-carrying airlines and their transactions with more than 15,000 forwarders.

Across 2014, global average monthly yields decreased, year on year, in nine out of 12 months, rising only in June, July and August, WorldACD notes, but describes the 2014 as a good year for air cargo over all. With volume growth of 6.4% over 2013, and a much smaller drop in US$ yields (-1.45%) compared with the declines in the previous few years, worldwide revenue increased by 5% after two years of declining revenues, WorldACD says.

The origin region Asia Pacific was above average, achieving a 6.2% US$ revenue increase. North America was the fastest-growing revenue destination, with a revenue increase of 10.9%.

Continuing the trend from previous years, revenues from pharmaceuticals and perishables outpaced the market, with growth of 16.2% and 7.2% respectively, and this trend is reflected by airlines’ accelerating investments in their cool-chain products and facilities. Pharmaceuticals grew in terms of average yields achieved too, with a global average rise of 2% (rising even more than this in Europe), building upon the 1.2% average pharma yield increase in 2013, WorldACD observes.

But perishables yields dropped by about 3%, double the average yield decline of all air cargo taken together. Meanwhile, the leading origin regions in both product markets strengthened their position: Africa and Latin America in perishables, Europe and MESA in pharmaceuticals.

Although Europe grew 5.1% in revenue as an origin region, the one group of airlines not profiting was from Europe itself, according to WorldACD. Most of the revenue growth ex-Europe was realized by Middle Eastern (+15%) and North American carriers (+11%). In all other origin areas, European airlines’ performance was rather flat as well. For the third year in a row, Middle Eastern airlines performed best in revenue terms, with a YoY revenue growth of 13%. They were the fastest-growing airlines in all areas, while they were also the only group with a slightly increased average yield worldwide, WorldACD reports.

The experiences of Asia Pacific airlines were mixed, including large percentage revenue decreases in the smaller markets of Africa and MESA (-19% and -18%, respectively) that were offset by more than average growth in North America and Europe, and a slightly increasing share of the revenue in their home region. North American airlines joined the European airlines in performing below average in most markets, except their Europe business (+11%). On their home turf, they registered a revenue decline of 1%.

Downside risks

Looking at the outlook for air cargo, IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler, said recent concerns over the health of the global economy and a corresponding fall in business confidence had not yet impacted air cargo, but noted that this was a downside risk that will need to be watched in 2015. He said yields had declined for the third straight year in 2014, with no immediate prospect of improvement. IATA’s global cargo revenue estimates for 2014 are more pessimistic than those of WorldACD, with IATA reporting that cargo revenues in 2014 had remained basically unchanged at $62 billion, around $5 billion below their 2011 peak.

Tyler highlights the need for the air freight sector to focus on providing a “stronger value proposition” to meet evolving customer needs, pointing to efforts such as cutting shipping times, ensuring high-quality handling of temperature-sensitive goods, or benchmarking quality to improve customer transparency.

E-freight also made significant progress in 2014, with electronic air waybill penetration reaching its 22% target and airlines now targeting 45% penetration by the end of 2015.

These are all worthy initiatives, although in the shorter term, there are some other interesting factors at play – most notably, currency swings and the drop in oil prices that are having an immediate effect on the market. The price of jet fuel in US dollar terms has fallen by more than 45% in the last year – indeed in seven months – although the decline of the Euro against the Dollar means that the drop in jet fuel prices in Euro terms is slightly more modest, but still very significant.

One would, therefore, expect to see at least some of the effects of this filtering through, probably both in lower air freight pricing and improved profitability for carriers – particularly freighter operators. Moves towards all-in pricing by some carriers may obscure or confuse the pricing picture to some extent, but there will surely be some benefits to all sides from the drop in fuel costs for the sector. Whether it also leads to increases in volumes remains to be seen.

The top 50 charts can be viewed in the main issue or by viewing the digital edition.


Airline focus: Cathay Pacific Airways

James Woodrow, director of cargo

Main issues and trends over the last 12 months: The year started very slowly in January and February 2014, but improved from March onwards and culminated in a good peak season in Q4. TPAC was assisted by the US west-coast port congestion and the improving US economy. Overall competition remained fierce and only really in Q4 did demand outstrip supply and therefore drive up rates.

Our belly capacity has continued to grow as we receive further B777-300ER and A330-300 aircraft. This has further strengthened our intra-Asia and longhaul networks. With a full fleet of 13 B747-8 freighters our, transpacific freighter coverage has continued to grow, with expansion into MEX, GDL and LCK and further capacity into key hubs such as ORD, LAX and JFK.

Main issues and trends for the coming 12 months: Competition is expected to remain tough. The Asia-Europe trade lane remains the most difficult, with a multitude of players – some of which continue to expand aggressively – and generally weak demand. Lower fuel prices will assist the profitability of all operations, however, particularly freighters, where it makes up a large proportion of the overall costs.

Security and safety issues will remain top of the agenda for cargo, be it lithium batteries, or TSA and other national bodies’ requirements, etc.

In 2014, our 2.6 million tonne capacity Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal (CPCT) in Hong Kong operated smoothly for the full year. In January 2015, our first large third-party customer, EVA Airways, started operations. CPCT is the most advanced cargo handling terminal in the world and we will continue to work hard to further improve service levels for our customers. Further third-party customers are expected to join over the coming years.

Cathay Pacific/Dragonair combined traffic:

Cargo and mail carried: 1,723,239 tonnes (+12%)

Cargo and mail revenue tonne km (000): 10,044,246 (+14.8%)

Available cargo/mail tonne km (000): 15,629,749 (+10.4%)

Cargo and mail load factor: 64.3%, a rise of 2.5 percentage points


Airline group focus: Air France-KLM Martinair

Main issues and trends: Overcapacity is the main problem carriers are facing. Generating fierce competition, it brings yields down and the economy of air cargo transportation is therefore much affected. Overcapacity will remain a problem most probably for quite a few more years. Europe still suffers more than other regions in the world because the economical situation in Europe is weaker than elsewhere, and that directly affects the airlines’ cargo activity. Big fluctuations also in the EUR/USD rate of exchange and questions about the fluctuations of oil costs are also new elements appearing on the market, making the short to medium term vision difficult to predict and tackle – in so far as no-one knows presently how long time each phenomenon will last.

Estimated cargo tonnage carried for full year 2014: There will be probably a slight decrease in 2014 vs. 2013, all the more so due to the 15-day pilot strike in September 2014, with around 1.25 milion tonnes estimated for AFKLMP Cargo in 2014 compared with 1.3 million tonnes in 2013.

Average cargo load factor: 63.1% (estimated) in 2014 vs. 63.2% in 2013.

Main hub handling capacity: Maximum handling capacity of ‘G1XL’ AF Cargo warehouse at CDG is 1.4 million tonnes.

Main hub infrastructure and capacity changes in 2014 and 2015: CDG & SPL are increasing their ‘cool chain’ capabilities, mainly for Pharma purposes, and also their ‘express’ ground equipment capabilities (for example the Express Hub in CDG), in order to increase and improve their handling capabilities on both these two ‘products’.

Planned changes to products & services in 2015: We are focused on constantly improving Pharma solutions and Express & Mail solutions in both our hubs, but also everywhere over our international network, where it is locally technically possible – as we did for instance this year for Cairo by introducing new cooling equipment.


Airline focus: China Airlines

Main issues and trends in 2014 and 2015:

1. Falling oil prices: Airline industry profitability improves with falling oil prices.

2. Japanese Yen depreciation: A weak yen will deliver a helping hand in an export boom, and it’s happening gradually.

3. US west-coast ports congestion: Our business was helped by the bottleneck in seaports on the west coast of the US, leading to more cargo being moved by air.

Changes to products and services in 2014: Since joining the SkyTeam Cargo Alliance, CI has been complying with SkyTeam’s strategies, including promoting high-yield express delivery, cool chain and healthcare products. In 2014, CI was accredited as a Qualified Envirotainer Provider (QEP) in five stations: Taipei, Tokyo, San Francisco, Frankfurt and Amsterdam. With the accreditation, customers can be assured of CI’s capability to offer reliable cool-chain services. CI targets to become certified as an Environtainer Partner (CEP) and plans to further expand its network to provide temperature-controlled airfreight services.

Planned changes to products and services in 2015: Replacing aluminium containers with lightweight containers, expected to achieve savings in fuel, emissions and maintenance.

2014 2013 YoY

Chargeable weight (tonnes) 701,357 640,423 9.1%

Freight revenue tonnes 1,303,000 1,194,000 9.4%

FATK (millions) 7,405 6,843 8.2%

Load factor 71.7% 70.9% –

Cargo revenue (US$ millions) 1,440 1,326 8.6%


Airline focus: American Airlines

American Airlines Cargo 2014 2013 %

System Cargo Ton Miles (000): 2,332,50 2,198,178 6.1%

System Cargo Tonne Km (000): 3,405,000 3,209,000 6.1%


Airline focus: Emirates

Projected cargo tonnage carried in 2014 and 2013: 2.32 million tonnes in 2014 (+7.5%). In 2013, Emirates SkyCargo carried 2.16 million tonnes of cargo.

Average cargo load factor: 69% average for both 2014 and 2013.

Average flown-as-booked performance: 95% in 2014.

Main hub handling capacity in 2014 (and 2013): In 2014, the throughput capability at DXB hub was 1.7 million tonnes and in 2013 at 1.5 million tonnes. DWC handles an additional 700,000 tonnes of cargo per annum.

Main hub infrastructure and capacity changes in 2014 and 2015: On 1 May, Emirates SkyCargo moved its freighter fleet to its new ‘home’ Emirates SkyCentral at Dubai World Central Airport following the completion of a new cargo terminal that has the capacity to handle 700,000 tonnes of cargo per annum. We also are currently expanding our cargo handling facilities at Dubai International Airport, which should be completed by May 2015. The expansion includes the refurbishment of facilities and equipment of an existing cargo building as well as the extension of Emirates SkyCargo’s Cargo Mega Terminal. We also received two new B777F aircraft.

Planned capacity changes for 2015: This year we will receive another B777F freighter, which will increase our freighter fleet to 15 aircraft – 13 B777Fs and two B747 ERFs. Induction of more passenger aircraft will add additional capacity for 2015.

Changes to products & services in 2014: Emirates launched an internally developed and cost effective LD3 container that keeps temperature sensitive cargo cool when transported on the ground and in the air. The ‘White Container’ is the latest addition to Emirates SkyCargo’s Cool Chain portfolio and has been designed specifically as an intermediate temperature-control solution that is ideal for generic healthcare products and food perishables. SkyCargo will continue to invest in assets and equipment to provide a robust unbreakable cool chain in 2015.


Airline focus: Lufthansa Cargo

Cargo carried in 2014: Around 1.7 million tonnes of freight and mail carried – or 8.6 billion revenue tonne-km – compared with 1.715 million tonnes in 2013 (-2.7%)

Average cargo load factor: 69.7% in 2014; 69.9% in 2013 (-0.2 points).

Capacity and network developments in 2014: Lufthansa Cargo focused on a flexible and demand-driven management of its capacities with the aim of boosting yields. At the same time, it added Milan, Lagos and Tunis to its destinations. Since November it has been offering a non-stop weekly B777F flight from Houston (USA) to Stavanger (Norway), linking two of the world’s most important centres of the oil and gas industry, as part of a focus on key sectors.

Infrastructure and other developments: Despite the fiercely competitive conditions, Lufthansa Cargo continued to pursue its long-term modernisation programme Lufthansa Cargo 2020 in 2014. Among the initiatives, a new IT system for cargo handling is being rolled out worldwide, marketing of lucrative express products further reinforced, and preparations for the new air freight terminal in Frankfurt, LCCneo, are in full swing. Another milestone for Lufthansa Cargo in 2014 was the launch of a strategic joint venture with All Nippon Airways (ANA) on routes between Japan and Europe


Airline focus: IAG Cargo

Steve Gunning, CEO

Cargo tonnage carried for full year 2014: IAG Cargo carried 5,453 million cargo tonne kilometres (CTKs) for the year-to-date December 2014, a 3.5% decrease compared to YTD December 2013. Following the cessation of the long haul freighter leasing contract with GSS on 30 April 2014, IAG Cargo ran a significantly reduced freighter programme, which is reflected in the figures.

Main hub infrastructure and capacity changes in 2014: As part of a commitment to on-going significant investments in hub and wider operations, 2014 featured a number of large infrastructure and capacity changes across the year in, with highlights including: Expanding Constant Climate network for the transport of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals to more than 100 stations, in what is now the leading network of its kind globally; Boosting frequency of flights to key destinations, providing businesses with additional lift capacity to and from key destinations including Cape Town, Mexico City, Panama City and Colombia. This was in addition to new routes being opened into Austin, Montevideo, Santa Domingo and Kuala Lumpur. Upgrades to fleet throughout the year included a number of next-generation aircraft coming into service on busy routes. This included the use of ‘cargo-friendly’ B787s routes into Chennai, Hyderabad, Philadelphia and Calgary

Changes to products & services in 2014: 2014 was also a highly productive year in terms of products and services. We launched EuroConnector 24 and 48, a simple, cost effective and time-definite option for shipping freight into, around and out of Europe. This innovative service will help us optimise capacity on our short-haul network. Our successful small freight collection service, Cargo Connector, launched in an additional four cities: Houston, Seattle and San Francisco in the US and Frankfurt in Germany, providing customers with the easiest way possible to get their freight to the airport.

In December we achieved an industry first for our Constant Climate product, being the first carrier to be awarded a GDP (Good Distribution Practice) certification by a national government health agency in what is widely recognised as meeting the diamond standard for pharmaceutical transport. Following an inspection by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, our Heathrow operations have been granted Wholesale Distribution Authorisation (WDA) for medicines intended for both human and veterinary use.

At the beginning of the year we rationalised our freighter strategy. We now focus on delivering wide-body capacity except in areas of high demand, where we work with partners to deliver freighter capacity (this is the case on our Hong Kong route where Qatar Airways provides us freighter capacity). We believe that this is the best approach to solving the industry-wide excess of capacity. Finally, we have seen significant progress in our rollout of e-AWBs. With 31% penetration, IAG Cargo now leads European carriers when it comes to e-AWB penetration and is fourth globally for volumes, as of November 2014. In total, we have made e-AWB available in more than 160 stations globally, amounting to nearly 100 per cent of its network where e-AWBs are legally recognised

Initiatives or investments in cargo handling capabilities or service quality in 2014: Ultimately the success of our business comes down to our handling capabilities and the service we can offer customers. We employ some of the most talented and dedicated people in the world, who work at the most advanced of cargo operations. Yet we are continually looking at how we can improve our operations: In 2014, we also took the opportunity to upgrade Premia, our premium product handling facility, at Heathrow. The upgrades led to a more than 50 per cent improvement in loose handling capability as well as enhanced operational procedures and optimised use of space for a more efficient and effective facility.

We continued to focus on our training capability to ensure that employees can deliver the highest levels of service excellence. A highlight of the year in this respect was the launch of the Good Distribution Practice Academy in partnership with Exelsius. Students are able to witness the handling process at the Heathrow IAG Cargo ‘Constant Climate Centre’ and other international locations, meeting the operational team that handles pharmaceutical and life science shipments across the globe to Good Distribution Practice standards.


Airline focus: LAN Cargo

Cargo tonnage fuor full year 2014: Between 1.1 and 1.2 million tonnes, approximately.

Average cargo load factor in 2014: 70%.

Expected cargo revenues in 2014: Between US$1.5 billion and 1.6 billion, approximately.

Average flown-as-booked performance: 85.25% in 2014, compared with 84.98% in 2013.

Main hub handling throughput in 2014: 395,000 tonnes processed at Miami.

Main hub handling capacity: Maximum storage capacity at MIA is 2,500 tonnes — 474,000 sq. ft (45,000 sqm).

Main hub – planned infrastructure changes for 2015: In 2014, we started building a maintenance hangar at MIA. Construction will be finished in 2015.

Third-party airlines handled at main hub: China Airlines

Changes to products & services in 2014: Introduction of a premium online service for pharma products from Europe; Investments in our infrastructure and enhancement of our working processes as part of our continuous global improvement.

Service quality investments and projects developed in 2014:

1. Connections: US$300,000 invested in the project. The objective was to increase connection reliability by improving current prioritization and coordination (commercial and operational) processes.

2. Host to host: revamping of the messaging platform, with the goal of integrating LATAM Airlines Group cargo unit to the rest of the air community (freight forwarders, carriers, GHA and customs), in accordance with new IATA standards. This will increase reliability and optimization, while improving business competitiveness.

3. Tracking projects: tracking technology was enhanced in domestic Brazil to improve customer service and minimize mistakes.

4. Guarulhos warehouse: the construction of a warehouse at GRU continued during 2014. The project, which started in 2013, involved an investment of US$17 million.

5. Website: the objective was to generate a common website structure for all LATAM Airlines Group cargo affiliates’ sites in order to optimize resources and improve customer experience, in terms of content, access to information and self-management.

Initiatives planned for 2015:

1. Products: a series of implementation projects related to the
Products initiative.

2. New operational cargo system: improvements to operations system in order to define a new operational system for the LATAM Airlines Group cargo unit for the next 15 years.

3. Construction of a cooler at GRU.


Airline/Integrator focus: UPS

Main hub handling capacity: UPS’s Worldport air hub at Louisville International Airport, Kentucky can process more than 416,000 packages per hour. The Worldport Freight Facility has a capacity of 1.6 million pounds (727 tonnes) per day with more than 300 forklifts operating in the building. UPS uses 237 of its own ‘browntail’ aircraft along with more than 300 chartered aircraft to serve customers in 220 countries and territories.

Main hub handling throughput: Worldport is the largest fully automated package handling facility in the world. The operation currently turns over approximately 130 aircraft daily, processing an average of 1.6 million packages a day with a record of nearly 5 million packages processed on Peak Day 2013.

Main hub infrastructure and capacity changes in 2014: Worldport added 900 tractor trailer parking positions and 57 tractor trailer load/unload doors in 2014 as part of a company-wide investment to increase flexibility within our network.

Investments in cargo handling capabilities or service quality in 2014: Throughout 2014, UPS invested in increasing capacity and flexibility, adding 47 new and expanded facilities across its network and increasing its capacity by more than 5%.

Planned changes to products & services in 2015: On January 15, UPS announced plans to extend UPS Worldwide Express Freight service in 12 new origin and nine new destination countries for urgent, time-sensitive and high-value international heavyweight shipments.


Airline/Integrator focus: TNT

Reliability performance: Global delivery reliability increased by 3% in 2014 compared with 2013.

Main hub handling throughput: Liege Euro Hub (Belgium): roughly 100,000 items, or 450 tonnes of freight, every night

Main hub handling capacity: 30,000 items/hour

Main hub infrastructure and capacity changes in 2014: Start of €50 million, three-year investment in TNT’s central hub in Liege to increase capacity by 50% (at completion in 2016) and productivity (through automation and mechanisation). Start of construction of a new facility in LGG.

New flights to Hanover and Venice in 2H14. Replacement of four BAe146 airplanes by B737s.

Planned changes for 2015:

The investment in TNT’s main hub in Liege will continue. Completion is expected by the end of 2016.

Continued optimisation of the road and air networks to add new destinations or increase speed on existing lanes. Introduction of new ‘industry service propositions’ (specific services for the automotive, healthcare, industrial and high tech industries).

TNT’s BAe 146 fleet (12 aircraft) will be retired and replaced by leased B737 and B757 by end 2016.