The Cargo Letter
Section A: Trade, Financial & Inland News | Section
B: FF World Air News |
Section C: FF World Ocean News | Section
D: FF in Cyberspace |
Section E: The Forwarder Broker World
- TWA Now American ......... as American Airlines has
won it's bid for Trans World Airlines TWA's board had endorsed a sharp
increase to AMR's bid, from US$500M to US$742M. This should be good for the
U.S. air cargo business, industry officials said Mar. 12 following a federal
bankruptcy judge's approval of the deal.
- OK For FedEx To Go Postal ....... as the U.S. Court
of Federal Claims has upheld a transportation agreement between FedEx &
the U.S. Postal Service for transporting express mail & priority mail.
The challenge was by Emery, on grounds that that contract should have been
competitively bid. >>> FedEx profit dropped 4% in its 3rd fiscal
- U.S. Dept. of Transportation Eyes Deals ........ as
it plans to scrutinize upcoming mergers involving American Airlines, which
has won TWA, and United, which is in the process of acquiring US Airways.
The 2 `mega mergers' would see the creation of the largest airlines in the
U.S. if they are approved by government. However, fears are being expressed
by organizations such as the American Transportation Trades Dept. which
feels the mergers may lead to a loss of jobs. Such organizations say DOT
should take a more active role in antitrust aspects in terms of providing
recommendations. Recommendations from DOT over antitrust issues would be
fielded to the U.S. Justice Dept. which makes all final rulings on antitrust
cases. The main question DOT has to address in the American & United
cases is the effect their respective mergers would have on domestic travel
hubs in the U.S. There is also the possibility that smaller airlines serving
regional & rural areas will be squeezed out which would result in less
choice for the consumer. However, time constraints mean DOT has to act fast
to make an impact.
- Hong Kong Still Cargo King .......... as Nov. 2000
results from over 660 airports worldwide show cargo traffic rising 3% &
passenger traffic 4% with aircraft movements remaining unchanged compared
with the same period in 1999. Results for the Jan. to Nov. period of 2000
show cargo traffic up 7% with movements increasing 1%. Cargo handled rose in
the Middle East by 8%, & by 7% in both Europe & Africa. The Asia
Pacific region showed a 6% rise. North America was flat while Latin America
was down 4%. Hong Kong, with over 217,000 metric tons of cargo, squeaked
past perennial leader Memphis (main FedEx hub) which came in 2nd with
208,000 metric tons. Beijing was the fastest growing airport with 28%
growth, followed by Dubai at 13% & Osaka-Kansai at 11%. Frankfurt,
Sharjah & Dallas Fort Worth all recorded 10% growth figures.
>>> U.S. carriers handled 2% more traffic in Jan. 2001, according
to the Washington-based Air Transport Assn. Domestic volume rose 1.2% to
951.2 million ton-miles, compared with 939.7 million in Jan. 2000, while
Int'l traffic was up 2.8% to 880.5 million ton-miles.
- UPS Our Big Brother? ......... as software it
distributed caused some customers' computers to reconfigure Internet
browsers & automatically made the express carrier's main Web site the
user's home page, according to a Wall Street Journal report this month. UPS
sent out 200,000 copies of its WorldShip system to UPS customers. The
software also reportedly added several UPS-related Web sites to customers'
existing list of bookmarked Internet destinations. A UPS spokesperson said
the company is working to help customers take out the software and fix
related problems. "We consider it a mistake," UPS said.
- Delta Over The Pole ........ as it conducted a
demonstration flight on a polar routing from New York to Beijing, China,
March 3-4, 2001, using a B-777 aircraft. The Boeing aircraft returned from
Beijing to Atlanta on March 6, 2001. The 6,559 nautical mile route from New
York to Beijing, which took 14.5 hours to complete, flew over the North Pole
& the Siberia region of Russia on a route referred to as Polar Route 3.
The polar route is less congested and can improve times between New York
& Beijing by about an hour. Delta's demonstration flight took place
following the Russian government's recent approval of certain polar routes
for operations between the U.S. & Asia. This was the 1st polar route
demonstration between New York & Beijing
- Lufthansa Cargo & Air New Zealand Fly
"Around" ..... as they plan to launch a round the world cargo
service Mar. 25, 3 times a week using an MD-11F with a capacity of 85 metric
tons. The flight schedule: Frankfurt, New York/Chicago; L.A.; New Zealand,
Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Frankfurt 66 hours later.
- East Line Schedule Takes A Hit ......... as a
government probe into alleged contraband shipments stranded tons of consumer
goods at a Moscow airport & forced Russia's leading air cargo carrier to
cancel most of its flights this month. Russia's notoriously slow customs
service often accuses importers 7 exporters of not declaring the full value
of their goods. But the case against East Line has reached even higher _ all
the way to Russia's top national security agency. The Federal Security
Service seized cargo carried by 4 Russian companies & one Iranian air
company at Moscow's Domodedovo airport on March 1-2 as part of a contraband
investigation. The operation was the latest setback to East Line, which has
been accused by the security service of smuggling undeclared goods since
last year. East Line also conducts cargo flights to/from India, Germany,
North & South Korea, Greece, & the U.S.
- UPS Gets A New Mail Box .......... as it will
acquire San Diego-based Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE), a subsidiary of US Office
Products, the franchiser of more than 4,300 retail locations, including 900
centers in 29 countries.
- But FedEx Gets Whole Post Office ........ as over
the course of the next 18 months, it expects to place more than 10,000 drop
boxes at post offices in approximately 120 U.S. metropolitan areas. In more
FedEx news, it has opened a new 2,000 sq. meter facility capable of handling
24,000 packages a month in Ho Chi Minh City - 3 times more than the volume
- Qantas To Cut ........ as Australian airline is to
suspend its ailing services to China & Canada, and to reduce its
management staff by 25%, & overall staff by 5%. Australia's largest
airline said it is hit by increased competition, fuel price rises & the
weak Australian dollar.
- SAS To Buy Spain? ......... as Scandinavian Airlines
System has informally raised with Star Alliance partner Deutsche Lufthansa
AG the prospect of the German airline buying a stake in Spanair. The purpose
of such an investment would be to develop Spain's 2nd biggest airline into a
key player in the Star Alliance. SAS already owns a 49% stake in Spanair.
- SAS To Spin Cargo? .......... as
its board assigned management to establish SAS's cargo operations as an
independent limited liability company as of April 1, 2001. Concurrently, the
Board wants negotiations with Lufthansa regarding a minority interest in the
cargo company & commercial cooperation.
- Justice Approves Cargo Marriage ......... as SkyTeam
Cargo partners Delta Air Logistics, Delta's cargo division, & Air France
Cargo are approved by the U.S. Dept. of Justice to proceed with a joint
venture to establish a single point of contact for shipment of air freight
from the U.S. to expanded Int'l destinations with a single product line to
40 destinations in Europe, Latin America & Japan and connecting service
through Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.
- More Fine Times At MIA .......... as Fine Air has
seen its share of turbulence over the past few years, most recently when the
decade-old company filed for court protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code. But the future is now brighter for Miami's largest all
cargo company after a merger with Arrow Air. Fine Air moved to acquire
Arrow-a subsidiary of Int'l Air Leases Inc.-in Mar. 1999 & received
final approval to merge this month. Under the agreement, Fine Air acquired
13 DC-8s & 4 L-1011s, support shops & inventories among other
assets, and a fleet of 28 aircraft, which carry flowers out of 28
destinations in Central & South America and the Caribbean.
- Legend Becomes Myth .......... as it's the end of
the runway for Legend Airlines Inc. which lost FAA Certification in early
March. The startup carrier surrendered its operating certificate Monday to
Federal Aviation Administration officials, ending its quest to continue the
first long-haul flights from Love Field in 25 years. Airline executives have
been struggling to bring Legend back to service after shutting down
operations in Dec. & filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from
creditors. The airline was expected to take the 1st steps toward liquidating
its assets this month.
- Lufthansa Prefers You Take The Train......... as
Germany's government wants to reduce the number of internal flights _ a
prospect welcomed by the country's biggest airline. A contradiction? No,
says Lufthansa, which has launched a train service that transports travelers
between Stuttgart & Frankfurt in 73 minutes _ and for the 1st time
allowing them to check their baggage at the train station. That compares
with a 55-minute flight.
- Long Walks In Bulgaria .......... as Bulgaria's
government has stripped the national air carrier Balkan Airlines of its
aviation license, just weeks after the airline suspended all its flights.
The Zeevi Holdings Group, the Israeli majority owner of Balkan Airlines, had
ordered the company on Feb. 14 to suspend all flights as a result of a
dispute with the government over the airline's assets.
- BA Buys ....... as British Airways is planning to
take over British Regional Air Lines Group (Bral), one of its UK franchise
operators and one of Europe's largest regional airlines.
- Coverting Aircraft In Reverse ........ as Lebanon's
Trans Mediterranean Airways is planning to start a regional passenger
service to capture a niche market for business travelers & tourists.
State-run Middle East Airlines had operated the only Lebanese air passenger
service since the 1950s. But the government last year stripped away a
significant part of MEAs monopoly by lifting restrictions on other airline
operations. The move was an attempt to raise activity at Beirut airport,
intended to become a regional hub.
- Where's Athens Int'l Airport? ......... as it is to
move to a new site at Sparta, some 30 km from the Greek capital. More than
200 trucks will be involved in transporting equipment from the old site to
the new location in time for the March 28 opening. Both airports are to
remain open during the changeover, with an overlap period of 6 hours
monitored by air traffic controllers.
- New Incheon Landing Will Be "Free"
......... as South Korea's new Incheon Int'l Airport, in a show of
confidence about the facility's readiness, says the airport authority would
pay for any losses arising from problems at the opening. Officials say the
airport would open fully on Mar. 29 as scheduled, despite deep concerns
raised by local media & a consulting consortium which has studied the
airport for the past year. Remember Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok fiasco in 1998?
Korea's new airport will be able to handle 40% more of passengers &
cargo than Seoul's Kimpo Airport.
- Guangzhou On Schedule ....... as it's Int'l airport
should come on line by Oct. 2003. Capable of handling up to 2.7 million
passengers & 2.5 million tons of cargo. The new airport is expected to
complement Hong Kong Int'l Airport as a regional transport hub. Construction
on the 1,456-hectare site started in Aug. 2000, & will cost an estimated
US$2.4B by the time of completion.
- Swissair: HELP WANTED ........ as the problems of
SAirGroup, the troubled parent of Swissair, intensified with the resignation
of Moritz Suter as head of its airlines division after only 6 weeks in the
- A Boeing "Special" ........... as it has
completed installation of new cargo handling systems for the first B-757SF
(Special Freighter) at its Boeing Airplane Services Wichita facility. Launch
customer DHL Worldwide Express will receive the aircraft this month. The
main deck system is unique because it can accommodate a variety of Unit Load
Devices (ULDs). For example, DHL will be able to carry a combination of 88
by 125 inch ULDs, 96 by 125 inch ULDs, 88 by 108 inch commercial ULDs &
a LD3 or AXY container. This flexibility will allow DHL to interline a wider
variety of freight with other aircraft. The lower deck system features the
ability to carry DYH containers in a narrow-body aircraft for the 1st time.
By using containers in the lower deck, turn-around time is expected to
decrease significantly. Benefits of the new system will be even more evident
as 757 derivatives grow in length. In addition, the system can be quickly
installed to the existing anchor plates. The aircraft is the 1st of 44 that
Boeing Airplane Services is purchasing, converting & providing to DHL
under a multiyear arrangement. The B-757SF modification involved removal of
the passenger furnishings, installation of a side cargo door, replacement of
selected floor panels to strengthen the main deck floor, as well as
installation of the new cargo system. The 757SF can carry 27,210 kilos of
cargo more than 3,700 km with a volume payload capacity of more than 226
cubic meters. >>> Boeing announced last week that it will move the
corporate headquarters away from its original Seattle birthplace -- and will
select a more centralized U.S. location such as Denver or Chicago.
- FedEx Tragedy ......... as a Lisbon airport worker
died instantly Mar. 15 when he was struck by an aircraft's rotating
propeller while placing chocks beneath the plane's wheels. The 33-year-old
worker was positioning the chocks on a FedEx ATR 42 twin-prop cargo plane,
whose engines were running.
- Flying Yachts .......... as a giant Russian Antonov
freighter, dubbed 'ugly duckling of the skies', successfully delivered 2
sleek, but hardly slim-line Volvo Ocean Race yachts weighing a total 27,000
kilos after a unique 22 hour flight between Auckland, New Zealand &
Miami, USA this month. The identical yachts, each 60-foot long, were
carefully stowed into the cavernous Russian Antonov freighter, largest in
the world, for its unusual flight. The yachts will be used for pre-race
training in Miami by the Norwegian team 'djuice dragons' competing in the
Volvo Ocean Race, the world's premiere yachting event. Flying the yachts
half way round the world means 'djuice dragons', one of the syndicates
participating in the event once called The Whitbread, won't have to use
training boats to prepare for the race. http://www.VolvoOceanRace.org
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Written from wire stories, the Associated Press,
Reuters, Hong Kong Shipping News Lloyds & other world sources.