Vista, California, July 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Watkins Wellness, a leader in hot tubs and aquatic fitness systems, today announced the expansion of its portfolio of personal well–being products and entry into the sauna category as a result of the pending acquisition of Sauna360 Group Oy ("Sauna360") by Watkins Wellness' parent company, Masco Corporation. Sauna360 is a leading global manufacturer of sauna solutions, and its portfolio of products includes traditional, infrared, and wood–burning saunas as well as steam showers, rooms and generators. These products are sold primarily in the United States, Europe and throughout the rest of the world under the Tyl, Helo, Kastor, Finnleo, and Amerec brands. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to regulatory approval.

"We are thrilled to welcome Sauna360 to our organization and to expand our portfolio of industry–leading products aimed at promoting wellness and helping our customers feel good and live well!" said Vijaikrishna (VJ) Teenarsipur, President of Watkins Wellness. "Sauna360 brings a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise to our business. We look forward to leveraging the synergies between our businesses, which will allow us to better serve our dealer partners, consumers and, ultimately, the growing wellness market."

"I am very pleased for Sauna360 to become part of Watkins Wellness. Sauna360's business has grown in recent years, and becoming part of Watkins Wellness will further strengthen our capability and ambition to be a leading sauna player. The dealer distribution strategy, common focus on wellness and similar company cultures make this a true strategic fit," said Pekka Lettijeff, President & CEO of Sauna360 Group.

Founded in 2008 as a merger between two leading sauna companies, Helo and Tyl, Sauna360 brings decades of industry knowledge and experience resulting from a strong history, with Helo's origin dating back to 1919 and Tyl's to 1949. The company is headquartered in Finland and has approximately 180 employees located in Finland, Sweden, the United States, and England.

About Watkins Wellness

Watkins Wellness, established in 1977 in Vista, California, is dedicated to promoting wellness to consumers to help them feel good and live well. The company's growing portfolio of well–being products for at–home use provides multiple pathways to wellness. Our portfolio of brands includes Hot Spring Spas, Caldera Spas, Freeflow Spas, Fantasy Spas, and Endless Pools Fitness Systems, sold predominantly through a specialty dealer network of more than 1,000 dealer partners located in 70+ countries. Watkins Wellness is a wholly owned subsidiary of Masco Corporation (NYSE: MAS).

About Masco Corporation

Headquartered in Livonia, Michigan, Masco Corporation is a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of branded home improvement and building products. Our portfolio of industry–leading brands includes BEHR paint; Delta and Hansgrohe faucets, bath and shower fixtures; and Hot Spring Spas. We leverage our powerful brands across product categories, sales channels, and geographies to create value for our customers and shareholders. For more information about Masco Corporation, visit www.masco.com.

Safe Harbor Statement

Watkins Wellness is a subsidiary of Masco Corporation. As such, this press release contains statements that reflect views about Masco Corporation's future performance and constitute "forward–looking statements" under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward–looking statements can be identified by words such as "outlook," "believe," "anticipate," "appear," "may," "will," "should," "intend," "plan," "estimate," "assume," "seek," "forecast," and similar references to future periods. These views about future performance involve risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict and, accordingly, Masco Corporation's actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in these forward–looking statements. We caution you against relying on any of these forward–looking statements.

Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, the expected closing of the Sauna360 transaction and the expected benefits and synergies of the acquisition, including the expected impact on future financial and operating results and post–acquisition plans and intentions. Masco Corporation's future performance may also be affected by the levels of residential repair and remodel activity, and to a lesser extent, new home construction, the ability to maintain strong brands and to develop innovative products, the ability to maintain its public reputation, the ability to maintain its competitive position in its industries, reliance on key customers, the cost and availability of materials, dependence on suppliers and service providers, extreme weather events and changes in climate, risks associated with international operations and global strategies, the ability to achieve the anticipated benefits of its strategic initiatives, the ability to successfully execute its acquisition strategy and integrate businesses that it has acquired and may in the future acquire, the ability to attract, develop and retain a talented and diverse workforce, risks associated with cybersecurity vulnerabilities, threats and attacks, risks associated with reliance on information systems and technology and the impact of the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic on its business and operations. These and other factors are discussed in detail in Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in Masco Corporation's most recent Annual Report on Form 10–K, as well as in Masco Corporation's Quarterly Reports on Form 10–Q and in other filings it makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward–looking statement in this press release speaks only as of the date of this press release. Factors or events that could cause Masco Corporation's actual results to differ may emerge from time to time, and it is not possible to predict all of them. Unless required by law, Masco Corporation undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward–looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8883225)

International Dialogue Centre – KAICIID Facilitates Dialogue Encounters at World Youth Day Lisbon 2023

Lisbon, Portugal., July 31, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The International Dialogue Centre – KAICIID is delighted to announce its participation in World Youth Day Lisbon 2023, a significant international gathering of young people aimed at fostering unity, faith, and cultural exchange. From 1st to 6th August 2023, the enchanting city of Lisbon will play host to this momentous event, and KAICIID will be at the forefront, organizing Dialogue Encounters that promote understanding and cooperation among followers of different religious traditions, religious leaders, and policymakers.

As a unique intergovernmental organization with a dual governance structure consisting of a Council of Parties comprising States and a Board of Directors made up of religious leaders, KAICIID is committed to bridging the gaps between diverse faiths, nationalities, and generations. The Dialogue Encounters, part of the Youth Festival strand, will encompass a series of activities designed to facilitate meaningful dialogues and genuine acceptance, in line with the message of His Holiness Pope Francis, who calls for “concrete encounters” and understanding of those different from ourselves.

At the heart of KAICIID's involvement in World Youth Day are three key activities: a panel debate with representatives from five different religions, the launch of the innovative Dialogo board game, and a screening of the poignant documentary, "Justine: A KAICIID Fellow's Journey."

Dr. Zuhair Alharthi, Secretary General of the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), expressed his enthusiasm for the forthcoming Dialogue Encounters, stating, “At KAICIID, we believe that dialogue is the key to fostering peace and harmony in our interconnected world. World Youth Day Lisbon 2023 presents an unparalleled opportunity for us to engage with young people from diverse backgrounds, nurturing a culture of dialogue and acceptance. We are excited to be hosting several activities, including a panel discussion with leaders from five different religions, the launch of the Dialogo board game in Portugal, and the screening of our latest documentary, all culminating in an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis.”

The KAICIID Dialogo! board game, designed to encourage dialogue, teamwork, and social emotional learning, will be a highlight of the Dialogue Encounters. This game has already made a significant impact worldwide, being embraced by schools, teams, and learning environments as a tool to promote skills in dialogue and peacebuilding. Dr. Alharthi emphasized, “Dialogo! is for youth and adults alike, for all those who seek to develop their skills in dialogue and inspire others to join the conversation.”

Dr. Alharthi further added, “The Dialogue Encounters we have prepared for World Youth Day will empower young people with the necessary tools to facilitate meaningful conversations and embrace diversity. We believe that by promoting dialogue and empathy, we can build bridges that connect cultures and foster global harmony.”

In a moment of exceptional significance, eight KAICIID Fellows will have the privilege of participating in an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis. During this intimate gathering, the Fellows will share their reflections on how interreligious dialogue can serve as a powerful means to create links between cultures and religions, providing a unique and enriching personal experience for all involved.

As an intergovernmental organization based in Lisbon, KAICIID is uniquely positioned to facilitate meaningful encounters between people of different faiths and cultures. By strengthening capacity at the local, national, and regional level through education on dialogue practices, increasing understanding of religious and cultural diversity through leadership for dialogue training, and promoting dialogue and social cohesion through conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and development policies, KAICIID continues to play a vital role in fostering a more inclusive and peaceful world.

To learn more about the International Dialogue Centre – KAICIID and their efforts to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue, please visit www.kaiciid.org.

About International Dialogue Centre – KAICIID:

The International Dialogue Centre – KAICIID is an intergovernmental organization dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through interreligious and intercultural dialogue. By strengthening capacity at the local, national, and regional level through education on dialogue practices, leadership for dialogue training, and promoting dialogue and social cohesion through conflict prevention, peacebuilding, and development policies, KAICIID aims to create a more harmonious and cooperative global community.

For media inquiries, please contact: press@kaiciid.org


GLOBENEWSWIRE (Distribution ID 8883716)

Humanitarian Aid Efforts Continue in Niger Despite Military Coup

Humanitarian efforts in Niger are continuing despite the military coup. In Niger, Only 56% of the population has access to a source of drinking water, according to UNICEF. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Jean de Lestrange

Humanitarian efforts in Niger are continuing despite the military coup. In Niger, Only 56% of the population has access to a source of drinking water, according to UNICEF. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Jean de Lestrange

By Abigail Van Neely
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 31 2023 – Nicole Kouassi, the UNDP resident representative in Niger, is constantly faced with the challenge of coordinating aid delivery to 4.3 million people in need. On Wednesday, Kouassi woke up and learned this must happen in a country where the president had just been overthrown. She said she did not see warning signs of a coup.

Kouassi told journalists that UN humanitarian, development, and peace programs continue in Niger because their support is still desperately needed. According to the World Bank, over 40% of Niger’s population was living in extreme poverty in 2021. Before the present political crisis, 3.3 million people were acutely food insecure, mostly women and children. However, the $583 million dollar appeal for aid has only been 32% funded.

“The humanitarian response continues on the ground and has never stopped,” Jean Noel Gentile, the World Food Bank representative, said.

Nevertheless, the military coup in Niger affects the flow of humanitarian aid to other neighboring countries while Niger airspace and borders are closed.

While aid programs are individual to a country, closed borders can interfere with supply chain logistics. Gentile explained that there is a crucial route through Niger that allows for the transport of aid from a logistics hub in Yemen to Mali and Burkina Faso. Aid deliveries for Niger to Chad for Sudanese refugees have also been temporarily suspended.

Gentile said it is unclear exactly how many people will be affected. He noted that there may be alternative aid routes through Cameroon and Nigeria.

When borders are open, migrants from Mali and Burkina Faso also travel to Niger. According to Emmanuel Gignac, UNHCR chief of mission, no movement has been detected across Niger’s borders since their closure.

Kouassi has not been in contact with the military leaders in power and does not yet have plans to discuss humanitarian aid delivery with them. She noted that her office does not have a political UN mandate but echoed concerns expressed by Secretary-General António Guterres.

Guterres has strongly condemned the “unconstitutional change of government in Niger.”

“Stop obstructing the democratic governance of the country and respect the rule of law,” Guterres said in a statement to those detaining the president.

Kouassi said that all UN staff were accounted for and that Niamey, the capital, seemed calm as civilians respected their new curfew.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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India’s Rising Population & its March Towards World’s Second Largest Economy

In April 2023, India overtook China as the world’s most populous country. Credit: United Nations

By Taira Bhargava
WASHINGTON DC, Jul 31 2023 – This year, India surpassed China as the world’s most populous nation. China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest economy by 2035, but its population will likely continue to decline, while India’s will continue to grow.

India is projected to surpass 1.5 billion people by the end of this decade, reaching 1.7 billion people by 2064. Goldman Sachs analysts recently predicted India will be the world’s second-largest economy by 2075.

India’s population growth is widely touted as an economic opportunity to be seized, a chance for India to press its advantage as the most populous nation on Earth, with the greatest proportion of working age people.

For example, there have been recent calls for India to take the helm as a world leader in steel production. Demand for steel is expected to surge as India’s population grows, and more steel production capacity could boost India’s economy.

But there is more to population growth than just bigger markets and workforces. The same population growth that drives up demand also puts immense pressure on environmental, education, and health infrastructure.

For example, it will increasingly strain access to clean water, threatening drinking water safety and sanitation for communities. It could also lead to shortages in teachers and schools, and scarcity of medical professionals and health facilities.

So, as India’s population grows, it’s imperative that we balance its economic development with the well-being of its people. Sabina Dewan, a senior visiting fellow at the Center for Policy Research, says population growth could be a “tremendous productive force for the economy” but economic growth “hinges on providing good quality, productive, and well-remunerated jobs.” As Wilson Center scholar Jennifer Sciubba put it, “We’ve got 1.4 billion people in India, and it’s up to India to decide whether or not that becomes a resource or a burden.”

How population growth ultimately impacts people depends on how government, civil society, and society as a whole address its challenges and capitalize on its benefits. One key aspect of this is upholding people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).

As India’s population expands, the number of people of child-bearing age will continue to grow, and the stakes of SRHR will get higher. Studies show access to comprehensive SRHR services is key for health and well-being and helps women and girls reach their educational and economic goals. It also enables them to delay and space childbearing, moderating population growth and easing pressure on natural resources and infrastructure.

Currently, women and girls in India do not have sufficient access to SRHR services. Two million adolescent Indian women have an unmet need for modern contraception. A staggering 78% of abortions among adolescents are unsafe, leading to an elevated risk of complications.

And as India’s population grows, it also raises the stakes of gender discrimination and achieving gender equity. Without sufficient investment in the health and rights and women and girls, population growth is likely to exacerbate existing gender disparities.

But when women gain access to more education, economic opportunity, and family planning resources, it leads to greater economic participation and prosperity. Research finds such programs can help lift people out of poverty, improving their standard of living and contributing to a more inclusive economy.

In order to leverage the demographic dividend from population growth, in addition to manufacturing, transportation, energy, and digital infrastructure, India’s government should invest in its people.

It should focus on skill development and quality education programs that include women and girls, with emphasis on vocational training and technical education to equip the workforce with the skills the rapidly changing job market demands.

India’s rapid population growth is neither a blessing nor a curse, neither utopian opportunity nor dystopian destiny. Instead, it’s a blend of challenges and possibilities. The outcome for people depends on the actions we take and the investments we make.

Conventional investments like ramping up steel production may raise India’s GDP, but won’t by themselves make people happier or healthier, or lead to greater productivity and prosperity in the long run.

For that we’ll need a comprehensive approach, including policies and investments that prioritize SRHR, gender equity, education, and health. That’s the pathway towards beneficial economic growth, sustainable development, and a more balanced, prosperous future.

Taira Bhargava is a Stanback Reproductive Health Research fellow at the Population Institute in Washington, DC. Hailing from New Delhi, India, she is a rising junior at Duke University, studying Human Biology and Environmental Science.

IPS UN Bureau


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Should Military Leaders be Barred from Addressing the UN?

The UN General Assembly in session. Credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias

By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Jul 31 2023 – A rash of military coups in African countries — including Burkina Faso, Sudan, Guinea, Mali, and most recently Niger– has raised a legitimate question: What should be the response of the United Nations, a world body that swears by multi-party democracy, on army take-overs?

Condemnation? Yes.

Last week, the strong denunciations of the coup in Niger came not only from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk — but also from all 15 members of the Security Council in a rare unanimity on a seemingly politically divisive issue.

But what if these military leaders seek to exercise their right to address the upcoming General Assembly sessions, come September?

As the New York Times pointed out July 30, Africa’s coup belt stretches the continent from coast-to-coast that has become “the longest corridor of military rule on Earth”

In a bygone era, the UN provided a platform to at least four such leaders, including Fidel Castro of Cuba, Col Muammar el-Qaddafi of Libya, Amadou Toure of Mali (who assumed power following a coup in 1991 but later served as a democratically elected President), and Jerry Rawlings of Ghana (who seized power in 1979, executed former political leaders but later served as a civilian president voted into power in democratic elections).:

But ironically, there was at least one instance of a Prime Minister from Thailand – a country where military coups once arrived with clockwork frequency — being ousted from power when he was addressing the UN General Assembly rendering him homeless and sending him into political exile in a Middle Eastern country.

The 2006 Thai coup d’état took place on 19 September 2006, when the Royal Thai Army engineered a military take-over against the elected caretaker government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

As a result, there was an unsolicited piece of advice to world leaders visiting New York: If you are heading a politically unstable government, make sure to bring all your military leaders—army, navy and air force chiefs—as members of your delegation to prevent a coup back home during your absence from the country.

Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN (1996-2001) and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (2002-2007), told IPS any group of a few well-meaning countries at the UN, having respect for participatory democracy, should come together proposing a resolution of the General Assembly disbarring leaders of military coups, who overthrew democratically elected governments, from addressing any of the major organs of the UN system, particularly the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

“I believe such a resolution would pass with a big majority. We need only a few Member States, believing in democracy. to take that much-needed courageous, resolute, and forward-looking first step. I would look forward to welcoming such a history-making decision by the General Assembly,” he said.

“I would also add that the military leaders should know that the UN would not allow their countries to join any of its peace operations and/or to hold any high office in the UN system. There should be a price that those leaders should pay for their anti-democratic actions,” said Ambassador Chowdhury, President of the UN Security Council (2000 and 2001) and Chairman of the UN’s Budgetary and Administrative Committee (1997-1998).

“In many of my public speeches on multilateralism and effectiveness of the United Nations, which is its most universal manifestation”, he said, “I have repeatedly alerted that ”… I have seen time and again the centrality of the culture of peace and women’s equality in our lives. This realization has now become more pertinent amid the ever-increasing militarism, militarization and weaponization that is destroying both our planet and our people.”

“I believe wholeheartedly that only participatory democracy can effectively and appropriately reflect the true spirit of the UN Charter which begins with the words, “We the peoples …”. Yes, understandably the democratic system has its deficiencies”.

“But is there anything more effective and have more legitimacy in representing the opinion of the peoples of various Member States in this deliberative global parliament?” he asked.

Stephen Zunes, Professor of Politics at the University of San Francisco, told IPS the United Nations was originally founded by the victorious allies in the war against fascism.

While having a democratic government was never a prerequisite for UN membership, the principle that there should be a rule-based international order implied that such principles should also apply to those of member states, he pointed out.

Similarly, the human rights provisions adopted by the United Nations also imply the necessity of democratic governance.

An important first step in living up to its democratic underpinnings would be for the United Nations to bar leaders of military regimes from speaking before the United Nations, said Dr Zunes who has written extensively on the politics of the UN and the Security Council.

“Unfortunately, powerful autocratic governments—like permanent UN Security Council members Russia and China—would likely oppose such a rule”, he said. And the United States, despite its pro-democracy rhetoric, could very well have objections, as well.

“The Biden administration is the world’s biggest supporter of autocratic regimes, providing arms to 57% of the world’s dictatorships. Indeed, Egypt’s General Sisi is the second largest recipient of U.S. military aid, with U.S. taxpayers spending over one billion dollars annually to prop up his military regime which seized power in a bloody military coup in 2013,” declared Dr Zunes.

Meanwhile, in 2004, when the then Organization for African Unity (later African Union) barred coup leaders from participating in African summits, Secretary-General Kofi Annan of Ghana went one step further and said he was hopeful that one day the UN General Assembly would follow in the footsteps of the OAU, and bar leaders of military governments from addressing the General Assembly.

Annan’s proposal was a historic first.

But it never came to pass in an institution where member states, not the Secretary-General, rule the Organization. However, any such move could also come back to haunt member states if, one day, they find themselves representing a country headed by a military leader.

The outspoken Annan, a national of Ghana, also said that “billions of dollars of public funds continue to be stashed away by some African leaders — even while roads are crumbling, health systems are failing, school children have neither books nor desks nor teachers, and phones do not work.”

Needless to say, the UN does not make any distinctions between “benevolent dictators” and “ruthless dictators.” But as an international institution preaching multiparty democracy and free elections, it still condones military leaders by offering them a platform to speak — while wining and dining them during the annual General Assembly sessions.

Asked whether the UN General Assembly should set a new standard, Ambassador Chowdhury said: “yes, of course!”

“This should have been done long ago when our much-loved, much-respected Secretary-General Kofi Annan suggested it at the outset of the new millennium”

That was the appropriate time for such a landmark decision as the African Group, the biggest regional group of UN Member States, would have championed it not only because the African Union’s predecessor OAU had decided in 2004 to bar coup leaders from African summits, but also because the proposal came from a Secretary-General who was a son of Africa, he said.

“We missed that opportunity when a visionary leader of the UN had the courage to suggest that the UN General Assembly should follow Africa’s lead. Two decades have gone by. I cannot envisage any other Secretary-General would have the guts to suggest that publicly,” declared Ambassador Chowdhury.

This article contains excerpts from the recently-released book on the United Nations titled “No Comment – and Don’t Quote Me on That,” available on Amazon. Thalif Deen, who authored the book, is Senior Editor at IPS, an ex-UN staffer and a former member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the UN General Assembly sessions. A Fulbright scholar with a Master’s Degree (MSc) in Journalism from Columbia University, New York, he shared the gold medal twice (2012-2013) for excellence in UN reporting awarded by the UN Correspondents Association (UNCA). The link to Amazon via the author’s website follows:


IPS UN Bureau Report


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Nepal Poised To Start HPV Vaccination To Prevent Cervical Cancer, Awaiting GAVI

As Dipak Subedi was organizing a vaccination programme against the human papillomavirus (HPV) in the city of Bharatpur in Chitwan district of southern Nepal he was getting phone calls from neighbouring districts asking if he had extra doses available — people were willing to travel for hours to get their girls vaccinated against HPV, which […]

Civil Society Space in Southern Africa Shrinking as Government Repression Rises

Several Southern African countries have or are in the process of enacting legislation that limits the civil society space, with implications for human rights. Credit: CIVICUS Monitor

Several Southern African countries have or are in the process of enacting legislation that limits the civil society space, with implications for human rights. Credit: CIVICUS Monitor

By Busani Bafana
BULAWAYO, Jul 31 2023 – Freedom of expression is under threat as governments in Southern Africa have enacted laws restricting civil society organizations, says global rights advocacy organisation, CIVICUS, warning that human rights violations are on the increase globally.

“The state of civil society is unfortunately not improving; civil restrictions continue across the world,” said David Kobe, the advocacy Lead at CIVICUS.

“More than 2 billion people live in countries that are rated as closed, which is the worst rating any country can have – this means that 28 percent of the world’s population are not able to speak out when there is corruption or human rights violations restrictions or cannot write articles as journalists without facing appraisals,” Kobe told IPS in an interview, noting that the organization’s human rights tool is indicating growing suppression of civil space across the world.

The CIVICUS Monitor, a tool accessing the state of civic space in more than 190 countries, provides evidence of restrictions on human rights by governments. The CIVICUS Monitor rates the state of civil space ‘open, ‘repressed’, and ‘closed’ according to each country.

Kobe notes that human rights violations are increasing globally with more restrictions on civil society in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The picture is not different in the Southern Africa region where restrictions on civil space have been continuing, and these have included censorship, violent response to protests and restrictive laws as seen in Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe

Closing Civil Society Space

Zimbabwe remains on the CIVICUS Monitor Watchlist as attacks on civic space continue ahead of the scheduled 2023 national elections.

Last November, Zimbabwe approved the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Amendment Bill, 2022, known as the Patriotic Act. The law seeks to create the offence of “wilfully damaging the sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe” and will essentially criminalise the lobbying of foreign governments to extend or implement sanctions against Zimbabwe or its officials.

Furthermore, the Zimbabwe government gazetted the Private Voluntary Organisations Amendment Bill in November 2021, amending the Private Voluntary Organisations Act, which governs non-profit organizations. The main aim of the Bill is to comply with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations to strengthen the country’s legal framework to combat money laundering, financing terrorism and proliferation.

Civil society organizations warn that the Bill could hinder their activities and financing with potential adverse impacts on economic development. Besides, NGOs argue that they are a low-risk sector with no precedence of financing terrorism and money laundering.

Musa Kika, Executive Director of Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, says the PVO will affect the operations of NGOs, including deterring donors from funding PVOs, fearing the money could end up under the grip of the government. Besides, the Bill has a provision giving the Minister of Justice unfettered powers to place under supervision or surveillance, using subjective discretion, those PVOs the Minister deems to be high risk.

“Continued hostility and harassment on the part of the government towards the work of CSOs in the country will thus only result in a hugely detrimental effect on their efforts in advancing the protection of and respect for the basic human rights and freedoms of ordinary Zimbabwean civilians as espoused under Zimbabwe’s Constitution,” Kika said. He noted that civil society organisations were operating in a tough environment in Zimbabwe where the government does not trust them, especially those working in the fields of governance and human rights.

“We have a government that does not want to account,” said Kika. “We have had many human rights activists who have been arrested on flimsy charges…Terrorism finance is being used as a cover, but the motive is to close the democratic space because the government and accountability in human rights and governance are sworn enemies.”

In Zimbabwe, NGOs have, in partnership with the government, supported development, providing a range of services in health, education, social protection, humanitarian assistance, environmental management, emergency response and democracy building.  A research report commissioned by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum in collaboration with the Southern Defenders and Accountability Lab has warned of huge job and financial losses if the Bill is passed into law.

United Nations experts have urged Zimbabwe’s President Emerson Mnangagwa to reject enacting a bill that would severely restrict civic space and the right to freedom of association in the country.

However, President Mnangagwa has defended the passage of the PVO Bill, vowing to speedily “sign it into law once it reaches my desk”. In a commentary in his weekly column published by the government-owned Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa said signing the bill into law will usher Zimbabwe into a “new era of genuine philanthropic and advocacy work, unsullied by ulterior political or financial motives.”

Mnangagwa said the law was meant to defend the country from foreign infiltration.

Engendering Patriotism but Endangering Democracy

Zimbabwe has also recently approved another repressive law known as the ‘Patriot Act’.

“The Patriotic Act is an extremely repressive and unconstitutional piece of legislation that has serious ramifications for citizens’ rights, particularly the rights of freedom of expression in the lead up to the elections,” human rights lawyer, Dough Coltart, tells IPS in an interview.

“There is a very real need to educate the citizens on what the ramifications of this Act are for people’s lives because the Act has far-reaching consequences for the entire country and will essentially stifle any public dialogue around the challenges we are facing as a country.”

“The Patriot law is a bad piece of legislation which is an affront to the practice of ethical journalism in Zimbabwe,” Njabulo Ncube, Coordinator of the Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum (ZINEF), told IPS. “It stinks to the highest skies as it criminalizes the practice of good journalism. It is anti-media freedom and free expression…civil society organisations have also been caught in the mix; they cannot effectively make government account for its actions.”

Democracy Dimming

The situation in Zimbabwe is echoed in some countries across Southern Africa, where governments are cracking down on CSOs in the name of protecting national sovereignty and the threats of money laundering and terrorism financing.

In Angola, the country’s National Assembly, on May 25 2023, passed a draft NGO Statute, which CSOs have criticized for limiting freedom of association by giving the state excessive powers to interfere with civil society activities.

According to the Movimento de Defensores de Direitos Humanos de Angola (Movement of Human Rights Defenders of Angola, KUTAKESA), the government has targeted civil society with legislation that is meant for terrorists and money launderers, though it has never been proven in any court that a CSO has committed an act of terrorism in Angola.

On the contrary, the rationale of this legislation constitutes institutional terrorism, the target of which are CSOs, said Godinho Cristóvão, a jurist, human rights defender and executive director of KUTEKA in an interview with the CIVICUS Monitor.

“The Angolan authorities should have aligned themselves with the democratic rule of law and respected the work of CSOs and HRDs,” Cristóvão is quoted as saying.

“Instead, there has been an increase in threats, harassment and illegal arrests of human rights defenders who denounce or hold peaceful demonstrations against acts of bad governance and violations of citizens’ rights and freedoms. There have been clear setbacks with regard to the guarantee of fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the constitution, as well as the rights set out in the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other human rights treaties Angola has ratified.”

In Mozambique, a new NGO on Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act, which overregulates CSOs, is seen as the death knell for the civic movement in the country. The Act was approved in October 2022 under the pretext of fighting terrorism. It has further curtailed freedoms of expression, information, press, assembly and public participation.

Paula Monjane, Executive Director of the Civil Society Learning and Capacity Building Centre (CESC), a Mozambican non-profit civil society organisation, said currently, the legislation was being proposed to silence dissenting voices and people fighting for better governance of public affairs and the protection of human rights in the country.

The draft Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act law establishes a legal regime for the creation, organisation and functioning of CSOs, and Monjane highlighted that it contains several norms that violate freedom of association despite this right being safeguarded by the constitution and international human rights treaties.

“It gives the government absolute and discretionary powers to ‘create’, control the functioning of, suspend and extinguish CSOs,” said Monjane, adding, “If the bill is approved, it will legitimise already existing practices restricting civic space, allowing the persecution of dissenting voices and organisations critical of the government, up to banning them from continuing to operate.”

Monjane said if the bill is passed into law CSOs in Mozambique will push for it to be declared unconstitutional and will ask the African Union, through the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the United Nations, through the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association to urgently condemn it.

On actions to foster human rights and human rights defenders, Kobe said civil society organisations must be supported to hold governments accountable for upholding national and international human rights conventions that they have subscribed to.

The Universal Periodic Review, an assessment of the state of civic and human rights of a country over a four-year period, provides recommendations to governments enabling them to open civic space and remove restrictive laws.

“Governments need to implement the recommendations of the UPR and not treat them as a formality for them to be seen by the international community as respecting human rights when they are not,” said Kobe, adding that encouraging governments to implement the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development was also a way of getting them to see development alongside human rights.

IPS UN Bureau Report


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Les défis liés aux avions de fret neufs par rapport aux P2F, selon Gediminas Ziemelis, président du groupe Avia Solutions

DUBLIN, Irlande, 30 juill. 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Les annes de pandmie ont gnr des revenus records grce au fret arien. Avec une offre limite en raison de l'immobilisation des avions de transport de passagers et une demande en hausse grce l'essor du commerce lectronique, les prix par kilogramme de fret ont grimp en flche. Selon les chiffres du TAC Yields publi par le Trade and Transport Group, en 2019 le fret arien depuis Hong Kong vers l'Amrique du Nord cotait 3,80 $/kg tandis que le prix depuis l'Europe vers l'Amrique du Nord tait de 2,10 $/kg. En 2022, ces mmes services cotaient respectivement 9,00 $/kg et 4,50 $/kg.

Sans surprise, cette situation a transform la position des fournisseurs de fret arien. Les revenus du fret ont plus que doubl, passant de 100 milliards de dollars en 2019 210 milliards de dollars en 2021 (selon les chiffres de l'IATA), tandis que les revenus du transport de passagers ont chut de 607 milliards de dollars par an pour tomber 239 milliards de dollars. Le chiffre d'affaires annuel de Cargolux est pass de 2,2 milliards de dollars 5,1 milliards de dollars au cours de la pandmie, et Silkway a plus que doubl son chiffre d'affaires et a vu sa marge passer de –10 % +30 %. Ces normes gains, ainsi que le potentiel long terme du commerce lectronique (qui a conduit Airbus et Boeing mettre des prvisions optimistes pour la croissance du fret arien), ont conduit de nombreuses compagnies ariennes se concentrer davantage sur le fret.

Cependant, l'augmentation de la capacit en soute a entran une nouvelle chute brutale des prix du fret. L'IATA prvoit que le rendement du fret en glissement annuel chutera de 28,6 % cette anne. Cela signifie que le fret arien, un secteur notoirement cyclique, entre nouveau dans une priode de turbulences. C'est dans ce contexte que les compagnies ariennes dcident d'acheter ou non de nouveaux avions de fret.

Avions de fret neufs vs. conversions d'avions de transport de passagers en avions de fret

Les compagnies ariennes et les fournisseurs de fret arien poursuivent des stratgies diffrentes lorsqu'il s'agit de renforcer leurs flottes de fret. Selon le dernier rapport de KPMG, l'anne dernire, 35 commandes ont t passes pour de nouveaux avions 777–200F, 33 pour de nouveaux 777–8F, tandis que 20 fournisseurs ont achet de nouveaux A350F. Ces commandes ont t passes la fois par des fournisseurs de fret arien ddis (Cargolux, Silkway West, DHL, FedEx) et par des compagnies ariennes (Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar, Air Canada, China Airlines, EVA, Air France, Etihad, SIA et Western Global). Pendant ce temps, les conversions annuelles d'avions de transport de passagers en avions de fret (P–to–F) ont atteint des sommets historiques avec un volume estim 180 par an d'ici 2025, pour ensuite se stabiliser environ 160 avions par an. Cette volution est mettre en regard des 70 units par an avant la pandmie de COVID–19.

Un certain nombre de facteurs influent sur le choix d'acheter des avions de transport de fret neufs ou des avions de fret issus de conversions P–to–F. Naturellement, le cot reprsente un facteur majeur dont le calcul prend en compte des variables telles que le nombre total de commandes, la consommation de carburant et la maintenance, ainsi que les cots de production initiaux. Les dlais de production constituent un autre facteur cl, tout comme le volume de fret et la flexibilit.

Facteur 1 : Cots de location

Il existe une diffrence considrable entre les cots de base des avions de fret neufs et ceux des avions de fret issus d'une conversion. Le prix initial d'un tout nouveau 777–200F ou A350F est d'environ 170 185 millions de dollars, soit un taux de location mensuel compris entre 1,2 et 1,3 million de dollars. En regardant le carnet de commandes des compagnies ariennes qui ont effectu des achats l'anne dernire, la majorit de celles–ci ont un nombre important de ces types d'avions dans leur flotte, en particulier les transporteurs mixtes. Dans ces cas, il est fort probable que le cot d'achat rel ait t bien infrieur la fourchette de 170 185 millions de dollars. Les conomies d'chelle positives seront galement un facteur de maintien des cots un niveau minimum pour ces compagnies ariennes. Nanmoins, malgr ces conomies, elles continueront d'envisager des taux de location mensuels de 1 million de dollars.

En revanche, la location d'un 777–300 issu d'une conversion P–to–F cotera 0,6 million de dollars par mois, soit environ 65 millions de dollars pour l'achat ferme. Cet avion est susceptible de bien soutenir la comparaison avec ses rivaux de production, mais une fraction du cot.

Facteur 2 : MRO et cots d'exploitation

Les compagnies ariennes raliseront des conomies sur les P–to–F en matire de MRO. Avec l'accs au march de l'occasion pour les pices, l'entretien de ces avions sera considrablement moins coteux que le maintien en service d'avions neufs.

Naturellement, outre les conomies de cots, l'accs aux pices d'occasion peut galement acclrer et simplifier le processus de maintenance pour les compagnies ariennes.

La consommation de carburant est un autre facteur prendre en considration. Historiquement, nous avons constat des amliorations significatives en matire de consommation de carburant lorsque des avions neufs sont mis en service. Lorsque le 777F a t introduit en remplacement du 747–400F, sa consommation de carburant de 6 800 kg/h reprsentait une amlioration considrable par rapport aux 10 230 kg/h consomms par le 747–400F. Cependant, avec les nouveaux 777X et A350, il est peu probable que des amliorations de la consommation de carburant correspondent la rduction de 30 % observe en passant du 747–400F au 777F. Une volution de l'ordre de 10 % 15 % reprsente le maximum auquel nous pouvons raisonnablement nous attendre.

Dans l'ensemble, bien qu'une amlioration de la consommation de carburant et (dans certains cas) des conomies d'chelle puissent attnuer le coup financier de l'achat d'un avion de fret neuf, en termes de cots, les avions issus d'une conversion P–to–F reprsentent une option beaucoup plus attrayante.

Facteur 3 : Volume de livraison et flexibilit

Les nouveaux avions de transport de fret peuvent potentiellement offrir des avantages en termes de capacit de livraison et de flexibilit. Le chargement du nez en particulier offre un avantage considrable. Il permet en effet aux aronefs de livrer des marchandises surdimensionnes telles que de gros gnrateurs, des moteurs, des camions et des technologies spcialises. Fondamentalement, cette cargaison hors gabarit est lucrative, car elle offre une rentabilit plus leve que les livraisons de palettes de taille normale.

Cependant, les nouveaux avions de fret en cours de production tels que le 777X et l'A350F ne proposent pas de chargement par le nez. Cela uniformise les rgles du jeu quant aux avantages lis un avion de fret ddi par rapport un avion de fret issu d'une conversion, car les deux sont dsormais limits un fret capable de passer par leurs portes latrales.

Comment les avions issus d'une conversion s'en sortent–ils en termes de volume, de coefficient de remplissage et de charge utile brute ? Considrons le 777–300ERCF par rapport au 777F (qui reprsente actuellement la moiti de la grande flotte mondiale d'avions de fret) en utilisant les donnes issues d'un comparatif effectu en 2022 par Aircraft Commerce.

Alors que le 777F offre une charge utile globale plus importante de 106,6 tonnes mtriques, en termes de volume, le 777–300ERCF surpasse confortablement le 777F. Le 777–300ERCF offre prs de 6 000 pieds cubes de plus en termes de volume total que le 777F (28 739 pieds cubes contre 22 971). Le revenu par charge utile est galement considrablement plus lev. 6,5 livres, il est de 186 804 pieds cubes, et 7,5 livres, il est de 190 900 pieds cubes, ce qui est comparer aux 149 312 pieds cubes et aux 172 283 pieds cubes du 777F respectivement. Une remarque importante s'impose nanmoins propos de ce comparatif : c'est le volume, et non la charge utile brute, qui compte le plus dans les oprations express de commerce lectronique, lesquelles sont susceptibles d'tre un important moteur de croissance l'avenir. Dans ce domaine, le 777–300ERCF offre un net avantage.

Eviter le pige des achats d'avions de fret neufs

Airbus estime que 1 040 avions de fret supplmentaires devront tre ajouts la flotte mondiale de fret d'ici 2041 – les prvisions de Boeing sont encore plus confiantes. L'achat d'avions de fret neufs dans le but de rpondre ce besoin comporte cependant des risques importants pour les compagnies ariennes. Les prix du fret ayant fortement baiss, l'investissement CAPEX dans un A350 ou 777F neuf reprsente un investissement financier massif un moment o les prix chutent rapidement. Le fait d'investir massivement dans un avion de fret neuf 185 millions de dollars pice aurait pu avoir du sens en 2021 lorsque les prix du fret arien taient des niveaux records. Cependant, en 2023, cette dmarche ne reprsente plus une politique prudente.

De plus, il y a peu gagner en termes de performance et de capacit en achetant un avion de fret neuf. Les avions de fret issus de conversions P–to–F sont capables de se mesurer aux avions de fret neufs en termes de volume, et ils prsentent des avantages notables en matire de maintenance et de production.

En fin de compte, les avions de fret issus de conversions reprsentent un risque financier beaucoup plus faible tout en permettant ainsi aux compagnies ariennes d'augmenter durablement leur capacit de fret arien. C'est pourquoi nous constatons une croissance importante des avions issus de conversions P–to–F, tandis que les livraisons d'avions de fret neufs stagnent. juste titre, de nombreuses compagnies ariennes ne sont pas disposes assumer le risque financier d'un avion neuf alors que les prix chutent, et y voient peu d'avantages par rapport aux avions de passagers rhabilits.

propos de Gediminas Ziemelis

Gediminas Ziemelis (n le 4 avril 1977) est un entrepreneur lituanien accompli, consultant en affaires, fondateur et actuel prsident du conseil d'administration d'Avia Solutions Group, l'un des plus grands fournisseurs mondiaux d'ACMI (services d'aronefs, d'quipage, de maintenance et d'assurance), qui exploite une flotte de 180 aronefs. Il a t slectionn deux fois parmi les 40 jeunes leaders les plus talentueux de l'industrie par Aviation Week & Space Technology.

Gediminas est connu pour son esprit cosmopolite et ses comptences exceptionnelles en matire de gestion, qui ont contribu son succs dans divers domaines d'activit. Au cours de ses 26 ans de carrire, Gediminas a fond plus de 100 start–ups, dont 50 % sont toujours en activit, il a dirig des entreprises travers quatre processus russis d'introduction en bourse/offre publique sur le march secondaire, et a lev plus de 800 millions d'euros sur les marchs publics mondiaux des capitaux et des obligations.

En dcembre 2022, Gediminas Ziemelis a t identifi par TOP Magazine comme le Lituanien le plus riche dont les actifs sont estims 1,68 milliard d'euros.

Gediminas est le plus grand donateur de Rimantas Kaukenas Support Group, un fonds de bienfaisance et de soutien qui apporte de l'aide aux enfants atteints de maladies oncologiques et leurs familles. Il est galement le principal actionnaire du premier club de basket–ball, les Wolves.

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Vorsitzender der Avia Solutions Group Gediminas Ziemelis: Herausforderungen von fabrikneuen Frachtflugzeugen im Vergleich zu P2F

DUBLIN, Irland, July 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Die Pandemiejahre haben Rekorde bei den Einnahmen aus der Luftfracht mit sich gebracht. Da das Angebot aufgrund des Flugverbots fr Passagierflugzeuge begrenzt war und die Nachfrage dank des boomenden elektronischen Handels stieg, sind die Preise pro kg Fracht stark gestiegen. Nach den Zahlen von TAC Yields von der Trade and Transport Group kostete Luftfracht von Hongkong nach Nordamerika im Jahr 2019 3,80 USD/kg, whrend der Preis von Europa nach Nordamerika bei 2,10 USD/kg lag. Im Jahr 2022 kosten dieselben Leistungen 9,00 USD/kg bzw. 4,50 USD/kg.

Es berrascht nicht, dass diese Situation die Position der Luftfrachtanbieter verndert hat. Die Frachteinnahmen haben sich von 100 Mrd. USD im Jahr 2019 auf 210 Mrd. USD im Jahr 2021 mehr als verdoppelt (dies sind die Zahlen der IATA), whrend die Passagiereinnahmen von 607 Mrd. USD jhrlich auf 239 Mrd. USD gesunken sind. Der Jahresumsatz von Cargolux stieg im Verlauf der Pandemie von 2,2 Mrd. USD auf 5,1 Mrd. USD, und Silkway konnte seinen Umsatz mehr als verdoppeln und seine Gewinnspanne von –10 % auf +30 % steigern. Diese enormen Zuwchse sowie das langfristige Potenzial des E–Commerce (das Airbus und Boeing zu optimistischen Prognosen fr das Wachstum der Luftfracht veranlasst hat) haben viele Fluggesellschaften dazu veranlasst, sich strker auf den Frachtbereich zu konzentrieren.

Die gestiegenen Frachtkapazitten haben jedoch dazu gefhrt, dass die Frachtpreise erneut stark gefallen sind. Die IATA prognostiziert, dass die Frachtrenditen in diesem Jahr im Vergleich zum Vorjahr um 28,6 % sinken werden. Das bedeutet, dass die Luftfracht, ein notorisch zyklischer Sektor, wieder einmal in eine Phase der Turbulenzen gert. Dies ist der Kontext, in dem Fluggesellschaften ber den Kauf neuer Frachtflugzeuge entscheiden.

Neue Frachtflugzeuge im Vergleich zu Umbauten von Passagier– in Frachtflugzeuge

Fluggesellschaften und Luftfrachtanbieter verfolgen unterschiedliche Strategien, wenn es darum geht, ihre Luftfrachtflotten aufzustocken. Laut dem jngsten Bericht von KPMG wurden im vergangenen Jahr 35 neue Flugzeuge des Typs 777–200F und 33 neue Flugzeuge des Typs 777–8F bestellt. 20 Anbieter kauften neue A350F. Diese Auftrge wurden sowohl von speziellen Luftfrachtanbietern (Cargolux, Silkway West, DHL, FedEx) als auch von Fluggesellschaften (Lufthansa Cargo, Katar, Air Canada, China Airlines, EVA, Air France, Etihad, SIA und Western Global) erteilt. In der Zwischenzeit haben die jhrlichen Umrstungen von Passagier– auf Frachtflugzeuge (P2F) einen historischen Hchststand erreicht. Schtzungen zufolge wird das Volumen bis 2025 einen Hchststand von 180 Flugzeugen pro Jahr erreichen und sich dann bei etwa 160 Flugzeugen pro Jahr einpendeln. Im Vergleich dazu waren es vor der COVID–19–Pandemie 70 Stck pro Jahr.

Eine Reihe von Faktoren beeinflusst die Entscheidung fr den Kauf neuer Frachtflugzeuge oder die P2F–Umrstung. Natrlich spielen die Kosten eine groe Rolle, wobei Variablen wie die Gesamtzahl der Auftrge, der Treibstoffverbrauch und die Wartung sowie die Produktionskosten bercksichtigt werden mssen. Die Produktionsvorlaufzeiten sind ein weiterer wichtiger Faktor, ebenso wie das Frachtvolumen und die Flexibilitt.

Faktor 1: Leasingkosten

Es gibt einen gewaltigen Unterschied zwischen den Basiskosten fr neue und umgerstete Frachtflugzeuge. Der Anschaffungspreis fr eine brandneue 777–200F oder A350F liegt bei etwa 170 bis 185 Mio. USD, was einer monatlichen Leasingrate von 1,2 bis 1,3 Mio. USD entspricht. Wenn man den Auftragsbestand der Fluggesellschaften betrachtet, die im letzten Jahr Kufe gettigt haben, ist festzustellen, dass die meisten dieser Fluggesellschaften eine betrchtliche Anzahl dieser Flugzeugtypen in ihrer Flotte haben, insbesondere die Fluggesellschaften, die sowohl im Passagier– als auch im Frachtverkehr ttig sind. In diesen Fllen ist es sehr wahrscheinlich, dass die tatschlichen Kaufkosten weit unter der Spanne von 170 bis 185 Mio. USD lagen. Positive Skaleneffekte werden auch ein Faktor sein, der die Kosten fr diese Fluggesellschaften niedrig hlt. Trotz dieser Einsparungen mssen sie immer noch mit monatlichen Leasingraten von 1 Mio. USD rechnen.

Im Gegensatz dazu kostet das Leasen einer 777–300 P2F–Umrstung 0,6 Mio. USD pro Monat oder rund 65 Mio. USD bei einem direkten Kauf. Dieses Flugzeug wird wahrscheinlich mit seinen Serienkonkurrenten mithalten knnen, jedoch zu einem Bruchteil der Kosten.

Faktor 2: Instandhaltungs– und Betriebskosten

Fluggesellschaften werden bei P2Fs Einsparungen erzielen, was die Instandhaltungs– und Betriebskosten anbelangt. Durch den Zugang zum Gebrauchtmarkt fr Ersatzteile wird die Wartung dieser Flugzeuge wesentlich gnstiger sein als der Betrieb neuer Flugzeuge.

Neben den Kosteneinsparungen kann der Zugang zu Gebrauchtteilen natrlich auch den Wartungsprozess fr Fluggesellschaften beschleunigen und vereinfachen.

Ein weiterer Aspekt ist der Treibstoffverbrauch. In der Vergangenheit haben wir bei der Inbetriebnahme neuer Flugzeuge erhebliche Verbesserungen beim Treibstoffverbrauch festgestellt. Als die 777F als Ersatz fr die 747–400F eingefhrt wurde, war ihr Treibstoffverbrauch von 6.800 kg/h eine enorme Verbesserung gegenber den 10.230 kg/h der 747–400F. Es ist jedoch unwahrscheinlich, dass wir mit der neuen 777X und dem A350 Verbesserungen beim Treibstoffverbrauch sehen werden, die mit der 30%igen Reduzierung von der 747–400F zur 777F vergleichbar sind. Eine Vernderung von 10 % bis 15 % ist das Hchste, was wir realistischerweise erwarten knnen.

Auch wenn ein besserer Treibstoffverbrauch und (in einigen Fllen) Grenvorteile den finanziellen Schlag des Kaufs eines neuen Frachtflugzeugs abmildern knnen, sind P2F–Umrstungen in Bezug auf die Kosten eine weitaus attraktivere Option.

Faktor 3: Liefervolumen und Flexibilitt

Neue Frachtflugzeuge haben das Potenzial, Vorteile in Bezug auf Lieferkapazitt und Flexibilitt zu bieten. Vor allem das Beladen ber den Bug bietet einen groen Vorteil. Es ermglicht Flugzeugen, berdimensionale Fracht wie groe Generatoren, Motoren, Lastwagen und Spezialtechnik zu transportieren. Entscheidend ist, dass diese bergroe Fracht lukrativ ist und eine hhere Rentabilitt als normale Palettenlieferungen bietet.

Neue Frachtflugzeuge wie die 777X und der A350F bieten jedoch keine Mglichkeit zur Beladung ber den Bug. Dies gleicht die Vorteile eines reinen Frachtflugzeugs gegenber einem umgebauten Frachtflugzeug aus, denn beide sind nun auf Fracht beschrnkt, die durch die Seitentren passt.

Wie schneiden die Umbauten in Bezug auf Volumen, Packdichte und Bruttonutzlast ab? Betrachten wir die 777–300ERCF im Vergleich zur 777F (die derzeit die Hlfte der weltweiten groen Frachtflugzeugflotte ausmacht) anhand von Daten aus einem Vergleich von Aircraft Commerce aus dem Jahr 2022.

Die 777F bietet zwar eine hhere Gesamtnutzlast von 106,6 Tonnen, in Bezug auf das Volumen bertrifft die 777–300ERCF die 777F jedoch deutlich. Die 777–300ERCF bietet fast 170 Kubikmeter mehr Gesamtvolumen als die 777F (ca. 815 Kubikmeter im Vergleich zu ca. 650 Kubikmeter). Auch der Umsatz pro Nutzlast ist deutlich hher. Bei ca. 3 kg sind es ca. 5.290 Kubikmeter und bei ca. 3,4 kg ca. 5.400 Kubikmeter. Im Vergleich dazu sind es bei der 777F ca. 4.230 Kubikmeter bzw. 4.880 Kubikmeter. Ein wichtiger Punkt bei diesem Vergleich ist, dass das Volumen und nicht die Bruttonutzlast im E–Commerce–Expressgeschft am wichtigsten ist, das in Zukunft wahrscheinlich ein wichtiger Wachstumsmotor sein wird. Und in diesem Bereich bietet die 777–300ERCF einen klaren Vorteil.

Vermeiden der Falle des Kaufs neuer Frachtflugzeuge

Airbus schtzt, dass die weltweite Frachtflotte bis zum Jahr 2041 um 1.040 zustzliche Frachtflugzeuge erweitert werden muss "" die Prognosen von Boeing sind sogar noch zuversichtlicher. Der Kauf neuer Frachtflugzeuge zur Deckung dieses Bedarfs birgt fr die Fluggesellschaften ein erhebliches Risiko. Da die Frachtpreise erheblich gesunken sind, stellt die Investitionskosten in einen neuen A350 oder eine 777F einen enormen finanziellen Aufwand dar, und das in einer Zeit, in der die Preise schnell fallen. Die Investition in ein neues Frachtflugzeug mit einem Preis von 185 Mio. USD war vielleicht im Jahr 2021 sinnvoll, als die Luftfrachtpreise auf einem Rekordniveau waren. Im Jahr 2023 ist diese Vorgehensweise jedoch nicht mehr klug.

Darber hinaus bringt die Anschaffung eines neuen Frachtflugzeugs nur einen geringen Gewinn an Leistung und Kapazitt. P2F–Umrstungen knnen in Bezug auf das Volumen mit neuen Serienfrachtflugzeugen mithalten und haben bemerkenswerte Vorteile in Bezug auf Wartung und Produktion.

Letztendlich stellen Umrstungen ein viel geringeres finanzielles Risiko dar und ermglichen es den Fluggesellschaften, ihre Luftfrachtkapazitt nachhaltig zu erhhen. Aus diesem Grund verzeichnen wir ein deutliches Wachstum bei der P2F–Umrstung, whrend die Auslieferung neuer Frachtflugzeuge stagniert. Zu Recht sind viele Fluggesellschaften nicht bereit, das finanzielle Risiko eines neuen Flugzeugs einzugehen, da die Preise fallen und sie im Vergleich zu berholten Passagierflugzeugen kaum Vorteile sehen.

ber Gediminas Ziemelis

Gediminas Ziemelis (geboren am 4. April 1977) ist ein erfolgreicher litauischer Unternehmer, Unternehmensberater und der Grnder und derzeitige Vorstandsvorsitzende der Avia Solutions Group, einem der weltweit grten ACMI–Anbieter (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance "" Flugzeuge, Besatzung, Wartung und Versicherung), der eine Flotte von 180 Flugzeugen betreibt. Er wurde zweimal von Aviation Week & Space Technology unter die Top 40 der talentiertesten jungen Branchenfhrer gewhlt.

Herr Ziemelis ist bekannt fr seine kosmopolitische Denkweise und seine auergewhnlichen Managementfhigkeiten, die zu seinem Erfolg in verschiedenen Geschftsbereichen beigetragen haben. In seiner 26–jhrigen Karriere hat Herr Ziemelis mehr als 100 Start–ups gegrndet, von denen 50 % noch immer in Betrieb sind, Unternehmen durch 4 erfolgreiche IPO/SPO–Prozesse gefhrt und mehr als 800 Mio. EUR an den globalen ffentlichen Kapital– und Anleihemrkten aufgenommen.

Im Dezember 2022 wurde Gediminas Ziemelis vom TOP Magazine mit einem geschtzten Vermgen von 1,68 Mrd. EUR als reichster Litauer gelistet.

Herr Ziemelis ist der grte Spender der Rimantas Kaukenas Support Group, einem Wohlttigkeits– und Untersttzungsfonds, der Kindern mit onkologischen Erkrankungen und ihren Familien Hilfe bietet. Er ist auch der grte Aktionr des fhrenden Basketballclubs der Wolves.

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Presidente do Avia Solutions Group, Gediminas Ziemelis: O desafio entre os cargueiros de fábrica e as aeronaves de passageiros convertidas em cargueiros (P2F)

DUBLIN, Irlanda, July 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Os anos de pandemia trouxeram receitas sem precedentes do transporte areo de cargas. Com a oferta limitada devido paralisao dos avies de passageiros e a demanda em alta graas ao crescimento do comrcio eletrnico, os preos por quilograma de carga dispararam. De acordo com os nmeros do TAC Yields do Trade and Transport Group, em 2019, o frete areo de Hong Kong para a Amrica do Norte custou US$ 3,80/kg, enquanto o preo da Europa para a Amrica do Norte foi de US$ 2,10/kg. J em 2022, esses mesmos servios custavam US$ 9,00/kg e US$ 4,50/kg, respectivamente.

Como era de se esperar, essa situao alterou a posio dos transportadores de carga area. A receita com cargas mais que dobrou, passando de US$ 100 bilhes em 2019 para US$ 210 em 2021 (esses so os nmeros da IATA), enquanto a receita com passageiros despencou de US$ 607 bilhes anuais para US$ 239 bilhes. A receita anual da Cargolux cresceu de US$ 2,2 bilhes para US$ 5,1 bilhes durante a pandemia, e a Silkway mais do que dobrou sua receita e registrou um aumento em sua margem de –10% para +30%. Esses ganhos imensos, alm do potencial de longo prazo do comrcio eletrnico (que levou a Airbus e a Boeing a fazer previses otimistas para o crescimento do transporte areo de cargas), levaram muitas companhias areas a se concentrarem mais no transporte de cargas.

No entanto, o aumento da capacidade de carga fez com que os preos do frete cassem vertiginosamente uma vez mais. A IATA prev que os rendimentos anuais de carga cairo 28,6% este ano. Isso significa que o transporte areo de cargas, um setor notoriamente cclico, est mais uma vez entrando em um perodo de turbulncia. Esse o contexto em que as companhias areas esto decidindo se compraro novos avies de carga.

Novos cargueiros versus converso das aeronaves de passageiros em cargueiros

As companhias areas e os transportadores de carga area esto adotando estratgias diferentes na hora de aumentar suas frotas de cargueiros. De acordo com o ltimo relatrio da KPMG, no ano passado, foram feitas 35 encomendas de novas aeronaves 777–200F, 33 encomendas de novos 777–8Fs e 20 fornecedores compraram novos A350Fs. Estas encomendas foram feitas tanto por operadoras de carga area dedicadas (Cargolux, Silkway West, DHL, FedEx) quanto por companhias areas (Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar, Air Canada, China Airlines, EVA, Air France, Etihad, SIA e Western Global). Enquanto isso, as converses anuais de aeronaves de passageiros para cargueiros (P2F) atingiram recordes histricos, com um volume estimado em 180 aeronaves por ano at 2025, para, ento, se estabilizar em cerca de 160 aeronaves por ano. Isso se compara com 70 unidades por ano antes da pandemia da COVID–19.

Vrios fatores esto afetando a escolha de comprar cargueiros novos ou fazer converses de aeronaves de passageiros em cargueiros. Naturalmente, o custo um dos fatores mais importantes, levando em conta variveis como nmero total de encomendas, consumo de combustvel e manuteno, assim como os custos iniciais de produo. Os prazos de entrega de produo so outro fator importante, assim como o volume e a flexibilidade da carga.

Fator 1: Custos de leasing

H uma enorme diferena nos custos iniciais para cargueiros novos em relao aos cargueiros convertidos. O preo inicial de um 777–200F ou A350F novinho em folha de, aproximadamente, US$ 170 a US$ 185 milhes, ou uma taxa de leasing mensal entre US$ 1,2 e US$ 1,3 milho. Analisando a carteira de encomendas das empresas que fizeram compras no ano passado, a maioria dessas companhias areas tm uma quantidade significativa destes tipos de aeronaves em sua frota, especialmente as de carga combinada. Nestes casos, muito provvel que o custo real da compra tenha sido muito menor do que a faixa de US$ 170 a US$ 185 milhes. Economias positivas de escala tambm sero um diferencial para manter os custos baixos para essas companhias areas. Mesmo assim, apesar dessa economia, elas ainda tero que arcar com taxas de leasing mensais da ordem de US$ 1 milho.

Por outro lado, o leasing de uma converso de 777–300 de passageiros para carga custar US$ 0,6 milho por ms, ou cerca de US$ 65 milhes para a aquisio definitiva. provvel que essa aeronave se equipare bem a seus rivais originais de fbrica, porm, por uma frao do custo.

Fator 2: MRO e custos operacionais

As companhias areas economizaro nas converses P2Fs com relao a MRO (manuteno, reparo e operaes). Com acesso ao mercado de peas de segunda mo, a manuteno dessas aeronaves ser consideravelmente mais barata do que manter avies novos em operao.

Naturalmente, alm da economia de custos, o acesso a peas de segunda mo tambm pode acelerar e simplificar o processo de manuteno para as companhias areas.

O consumo de combustvel outra questo a considerar. Historicamente, temos visto melhorias significativas no consumo de combustvel quando novas aeronaves entram em operao. Quando a 777F foi apresentada como substituta da 747–400F, seu consumo de combustvel de 6.800 kg/h foi um grande avano em relao aos 10.230 kg/h oferecidos pelo 747–400F. No entanto, com a nova 777X e a A350, improvvel que vejamos melhorias no consumo de combustvel que correspondam reduo de 30% observada da 747–400F para a 777F. Uma diferena de 10% a 15% o mximo que podemos esperar de forma realista.

Em resumo, embora a melhoria no consumo de combustvel e (em alguns casos) as economias de escala possam amenizar o impacto financeiro da compra de um novo cargueiro, em termos de custos, as converses P2F so uma opo muito mais atrativa.

Fator 3: Volume e flexibilidade de entrega

As novas aeronaves de carga tm o potencial de oferecer benefcios em termos de capacidade e flexibilidade de entrega. O carregamento pelo nariz, em particular, oferece uma enorme vantagem. Ele permite que as aeronaves entreguem cargas de grande porte, como grandes geradores, motores, caminhes e tecnologia especializada. O mais importante que essa carga de grandes dimenses lucrativa, oferecendo maior rentabilidade do que as entregas normais de paletes.

No entanto, as novas aeronaves de carga que esto sendo produzidas, como a 777X e a A350F, no oferecem carregamento pelo nariz. Isso nivela o campo de jogo em termos das vantagens que uma aeronave de carga exclusivamente tem sobre uma converso, j que ambos agora esto restritos carga que pode passar pelas portas laterais.

Como as converses se comportam em termos de volume, densidade da embalagem e carga til bruta? Vamos considerar a 777–300ERCF em comparao com a 777F (que atualmente compe metade da frota de aeronaves de carga de grande porte do mundo) usando dados de uma comparao de 2022 feita pela Aircraft Commerce.

Embora a 777F oferea uma carga til total maior, de 106,6 toneladas mtricas, em termos de volume, a 777–300ERCF supera com folga a 777F. A 777–300ERCF oferece quase 6.000 ps cbicos a mais em volume total do que a 777F (28.739 ps cbicos em comparao com 22.971). A receita por carga til tambm consideravelmente maior. Com 6,5 lbs, so 186.804 ps cbicos, e, com 7,5 lbs, so 190.900 ps cbicos, em comparao com os 149.312 ps cbicos e 172.283 ps cbicos da 777F, respectivamente. Um ponto importante a ser observado nessa comparao que o volume, e no a carga til bruta, o que mais importa nas operaes expressas de comrcio eletrnico, que provavelmente sero um importante fator de crescimento no futuro. E, neste aspecto, a 777–300ERCF oferece uma clara vantagem.

Evitando a armadilha das compras de novas aeronaves de carga

A Airbus estima que ser necessrio adicionar mais 1.040 aeronaves de carga frota global de transporte de cargas at 2041 – as previses da Boeing so ainda mais confiantes. A compra de novas aeronaves de carga para atender a essa necessidade implica um risco significativo para as companhias areas. Com a queda significativa dos preos das cargas, o investimento CAPEX em uma nova A350 ou 777F representa um enorme desembolso financeiro em um momento em que os preos esto caindo rapidamente. Investir maciamente em uma nova aeronave de carga de US$ 185 milhes pode ter feito sentido em 2021, quando os preos da carga area estavam em nveis recordes. No entanto, em 2023, essa no mais uma poltica prudente.

Alm disso, a aquisio de uma nova aeronave de carga tem pouco a acrescentar em termos de desempenho e capacidade. As converses P2F podem se equiparar s novas aeronaves de carga fabricadas em termos de volume, e tm vantagens notveis quando se trata de manuteno e produo.

Em ltima anlise, as converses representam um risco financeiro muito menor, permitindo que as companhias areas aumentem de forma sustentvel sua capacidade de transporte de carga area. por isso que estamos assistindo a um crescimento significativo nas converses P2F, enquanto a entrega de novas aeronaves de carga estagnou. Com toda razo, muitas companhias areas no esto dispostas a assumir o risco financeiro de uma nova aeronave com a queda dos preos, e veem pouca vantagem em comparao com avies de passageiros reformados.

Conhea Gediminas Ziemelis

Gediminas Ziemelis (nascido em 4 de abril de 1977) um empresrio lituano bem–sucedido, consultor de negcios, fundador e atual presidente do Conselho de Administrao do Avia Solutions Group, um dos maiores fornecedores globais de ACMI (aeronaves, tripulao, manuteno e seguro), que opera uma frota de 180 aeronaves. Ele foi escolhido duas vezes entre os 40 jovens lderes mais talentosos do setor pela Aviation Week & Space Technology.

Gediminas conhecido por sua mentalidade cosmopolita e habilidades excepcionais de gesto, que contriburam para seu sucesso em vrias reas de negcios. Ao longo de seus 26 anos de carreira, Gediminas fundou mais de 100 start–ups, 50% delas ainda em operao, liderou empresas em 4 processos bem–sucedidos de IPO/SPO e levantou mais de 800 milhes de euros em mercados pblicos globais de capital e ttulos.

Em dezembro de 2022, Gediminas Ziemelis foi considerado o lituano mais rico pela TOP Magazine, com ativos estimados no valor de 1,68 bilho de euros.

Gediminas o maior doador do Rimantas Kaukenas Support Group, um fundo de caridade e apoio que oferece ajuda a crianas com doenas oncolgicas e s suas famlias. Ele tambm o maior acionista da principal equipe de basquete, a Wolves.

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