Vol. 11 No. 5                                                                                                                 Friday January 20, 2012


     Jürgen Siebenrock, Lufthansa’s Vice President the Americas, moves over from air cargo to his new post, but takes time out to play catch up with EMO Trans CEO Jo Frigger at Tuesday’s German American Chamber of Commerce Annual New Year’s Luncheon at The Harvard Club in Manhattan.
     Mr. Siebenrock had the good timing to take the reigns of the top spot in the Americas just as Lufthansa debuted a brand new, expansive first class seat, which landed on the front page of The New York Times.
     “It is our premium product,” Jürgen told The Times, “Our customers were asking for more intimacy, more privacy.
     “If you want to be competitive, you really need to upgrade your product.”
     Next in April comes a new head of public relations as Nils Haupt goes from air cargo marketing and public relations in Frankfurt to head of public relations both passenger & cargo for the Americas.
     “We are excited to have Nils onboard here,” Mr. Siebenrock said.
      For his part, Jo Frigger said that he is pleased to see Jürgen back in the USA in this important position.      “It’s always good to see old friends coming back.”
     Asked about the outlook for 2012, Frigger said, “While 2012 will be challenging because of the uncertainty in the market place, we look forward to continue our growth from previous years, with 2011 having been our strongest one since the inception of EMO Trans USA back in 1972. We are planning to further expand nationally as well as internationally and look forward to our upcoming annual global conference in Naples, Florida in March.”


     In the 1940s, Delta Air Lines DC-3s navigated the skies in the hands of pilots who listened for the steady tone of radio transmitters on the ground, which indicated whether the flight was “on the beam.”
     Today, if you look into the eyes of Neel Shah, there is the beam of steely determination as he moves towards building Delta Cargo into a billion dollar business.
     But staying on track in 2011 may be a bit tougher, as today competition and market conditions demand that nothing be taken for granted; innovation and the ability to execute in a precise manner are absolutely necessary, a fact unheard of back when ceiling zero called in radio operations.
     Right now, the cargo chief of the biggest airline in the world seems to be everywhere at once as he goes about enhancing the fortunes and visibility of air cargo at the air carrier that dominates Atlanta, Georgia.
     It’s one of the fastest growing gateways in North America in 2012. In October, The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) will roll into town with its Air Cargo Forum that promises to deliver up to 10,000 shippers and transportation executives, and it will be Delta Cargo served up on the half shell to face more than a passing amount of scrutiny.
     Delta is host carrier to the big cargo show, and Atlanta is the big enchilada to Delta, serving as home base and the place for all the hopes and the day-to-day reality of building the dream.
     “Priority focus for us continues to be staying sharp with our operations,” says Neel Shah, Delta Cargo senior vice president and chief cargo officer, putting priorities into immediate focus.
     “No excuses either; if we let operations go, there is simply nothing else.
     “So while we are innovating and building our offering as never before, the attention to actual service delivery is our highest priority.
     “In terms of sales, I know that we have the best global team in the industry, period.
     “We get the word out and are also always within arms reach of all our customers.”
     Neel Shah joined Delta in January 2008, having left United Airlines Cargo. He hit the ground running, transforming Delta Cargo into one of the world’s most extensive operations.
     “In his first six months, Neel drove the division to significantly improved revenue, despite record high fuel prices,” said Neel’s boss at DL, Ed Bastian, who is also the carrier’s CFO.
     “That track record has continued, with Delta Cargo consistently exceeding its revenue targets and leading the industry in revenue and profitability performance,” Mr. Bastian added.
     Neel is well recognized in the industry and the community as he sits on the Air Transport Association's Executive Cargo Council, the Sky Team Cargo Executive Board, and is an executive appointee of Governor Sonny Perdue to the Georgia State Workforce Investment Board and the GDOT Private Sector Advisory.
     Recently, Neel said he was targeting Delta Cargo to be a billion dollar business, sooner rather than later.
Apparently, he has the chops and the team to do just that.
     Looking ahead at 2012, Neel declares:
     “We think our product offering and network will allow us to grow out of whatever business condition exists in 2012.
     “That said, we of course keep close to our customers, while taking nothing for granted.
     “When times are tough, the instinct of many is to cut back on everything and kind of recede into a shell.
     “I think just the opposite.
     “Right now is a good time to be out in the market engaging the customer as never before, whilst showing how air cargo can significantly improve bottom lines and deliver as promised every step of the way.”


     The recent "kicking the tires" exercise and high-level discussions following the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) initial bid for the Lufthansa-held Systems company have been quietly put on ice—it seems for good.
     Each side has come up with its own rationalization story.
     Apparently, Lufthansa has made a belated discovery about the unique strategic value of its IT company. Suffice it to say, it's no longer a non-core asset!
     A very solid 2011 business result didn't hurt either.
     TCS, according to Indian press reports, had second thoughts when it came to dealing with the high cost, largely unionized Lufthansa Systems workforce and how this could affect long term profitability, not to mention fit in with the TCS cost structure and corporate culture.
     Some level of collaboration will continue, so it can be reported that the deal was close, but no cigar.

      Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency has named Steve Day as General Manager for Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent.
     Following a two-week training program at Lufthansa Cargo Charter’s head office in Frankfurt, Steve Day will take up his new position on January 22, 2012. Day comes with a solid aviation and logistics background, with several years of experience in charter operations.
     Steve Day (43) was born and raised in South Wales in the UK and moved to Dubai two years ago with his wife and son to take up his position as Operation and Charter Manager with Supreme Aviation. Before that, Day had years of logistics experience, a lot of it with relief and disaster operations to areas of conflict.
     “We are extremely happy to have such an experienced man on board now,” says Reto R. Hunziker, Managing Director of Lufthansa Cargo Charter. “With his background, Steve will certainly be a very valuable addition to our team,” added Herr Hunziker.
     “Well, I will make sure that Lufthansa Cargo Charter will be amongst the best known charter brokers in the area very soon,” said Day.
     “I am proud to be part of the Charter team, and with its strength and the possibilities of the whole Lufthansa Cargo Group, I am sure we will be growing fast and successfully.”


Am I Blue? Low aerial of Jodhpur, India’s famed “Blue City.”

     As 2011 faded away, leaving India’s aviation sector in dire straits, quite a few aviation stakeholders—including the government—came up with cures to revive the sector.
The sector is groaning under a debt burden of Rs one trillion during 2000-10 and losses of Rs 200 billion in the past three years. According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), Indian carriers lose $25 every time a passenger takes a flight. CAPA’s Outlook 2012 points out airlines in the country will lose a whopping $2.5 billion in 2011-12. Kapil Kaul, CAPA’s South Asia CEO, was reported commenting, “2011 is the worst-performing year for the sector. These are record losses in the history of Indian aviation. Such losses have never been there, even in FY08 when the fuel went up to $150 and operating environment was hard... the appetite for losing money is the highest in India. We expect a very, very tough 2012.”
     Bringing in a fresh ray of hope, the ASSOCHAM (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, the country’s premier apex chamber covering a membership of more than 200,000 companies and professionals across the country) has put forward an 8-point strategy bouquet for the aviation industry to put it back on the growth path in 2012. Said Secretary- General D. S. Rawat, “With the right vision, roadmap, policies, regulatory framework and a relentless focus on quality and cost, India would be well set to claim its rightful place in global civil aviation industry.”
     One of the points is the permission by the government to three major airlines—Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet—to offload 49 percent of the promoters’ stake to foreign airlines to raise Rs 2,550 crore.      Whether the Indian parliamentarians will allow that to happen or not is a million-dollar question considering the opposition that was put up on the entry of foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail. The FDI route to bring in capital and technological expertise, according to ASSOCHAM, will not only allow easier access to global routes by Indian carriers to increase yields, but also enhance air traffic management infrastructure.
     Keeping in mind the strong growth in cargo and passenger traffic, ASSOCHAM said that if the government put progressive policies in place along with a collaborative approach between itself and industry, the moves would propel India to the top five aviation markets globally by 2015. The civil aviation ministry has put into place enhancement of capacity at a number of airports in metro and non-metro cities. In fact, the government’s 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) will see infusion of at least Rs 67,500 crore in airport infrastructure.
     Prepared by the ASSOCHAM Civil Aviation Council, the strategies for growth analyzed the aviation sector’s performance over the past three years and suggested creation of an infrastructure development fund to build airports in Tier-II and Tier-III cities and bring parity with global aviation turbine fuel prices.
     As for air cargo, with freight traffic at airports increasing by nearly 11 percent over the past five years to reach 23.3 lakh tonnes in 2010-11, ASSOCHAM has advocated the creation of an empowered air cargo promotion board to fix quality of service and responsibility of each stakeholder while upgrading the present air cargo infrastructure with high-tech automation and streamlining of customs procedures. This would make India a transshipment hub for east-west cargo.
     For its part, the government has adopted a pro-active mode with Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh personally overseeing the fulfillment of targets. The Prime Minister’s office announced a slew of initiatives towards the end of December 2011 with deadlines for the civil aviation industry’s revival. Among these are, of course, the finalization of the turnaround plan for Air India, the finalization of the policy to enhance the utilization of traffic rights by Indian carriers, the framing of an Economic Regulatory Policy to promote investments in airport infrastructure and even the establishment of a National Aviation University.
Tirthankar Ghosh


     Left to right: Jeffery Fegan, Chief Executive Officer of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President, Passenger Sales Worldwide Emirates Airlines; Ambassador James C. Oberwetter, President of Dallas Regional Chamber; and David Berzina, Executive Vice President - Economic Development of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce meet the press as Emirates announces daily B777 flights between Dubai and Dallas, Texas, beginning February 2.
     EK 221 will leave Dubai at 0245hrs daily, arriving at Dallas-Fort Worth at 0905hrs. The return sector, EK 222, leaves Dallas at 1150hrs, arriving at Dubai International Airport at 1220hrs the following day.
     “As the first commercial, non-stop flight to the Middle East in DFW’s history, Emirates’ new non-stop service will support the local economy by deepening the economic and cultural ties between these two dynamic and growing regions of the world,” said Thierry Antinori.
     “Emirates’ new non-stop daily service between DFW and Dubai will connect two global super-hubs for U.S. travelers, bringing Texas closer to 10 cities in India and 17 cities across the Middle East, including many of the world’s fastest-growing economies,” said Jeffrey P. Fegan, CEO of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
     As a strategically important trade hub and a key center of USA oil industry, there are many synergies between the state of Texas and the United Arab Emirates.
     In 2009, Texan exports to the U.A.E. reached over $1.7 billion, representing export growth of almost 200 percent in just seven years.
     Commodities piped between Texas and the UAE include oil and gas industry related machinery, spares and high-tech equipment. “A bellyhold capacity of 15 tons on each Emirates flight will help support this trade,” Mr. Antinori said.
     “It is projected that the route will also create over $200 million of local economic activity every year, providing a significant boost to the already flourishing trade between Dallas/Fort Worth and Dubai,” he added.
     Well, it looks like the stars will be big and bright, day and night, deep in the heart of Texas.


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RE:  Semantics Founder & Cargo Pioneer John Dailey Dies

Happy New Year Geoffrey,

     Very nice article about John Dailey. He was a diamond among the other jewels at JFK. One thing I'll always remember about John was a golf game.      One of my constantly rotating bosses from Japan (at JAL) asked me to arrange a golf game with some cargo agents from our accounts in New York. I got John and Jack Culligan to agree to make a long drive to Freehold, N.J. to a club where my boss was a member. I didn't know that the boss had another engagement back in NYC that he had to attend as well in the early evening. He was in a real rush and if anyone got within 20 feet or so of the pin, he would call that putt a ‘gimme.’ John finally said to me "Hey Buz, what is it with this guy; is he afraid he'll be late for Pearl Harbor?" I thought Culligan would never stop laughing.

Best Regards,
Buz Whalen
Sarasota, FL.


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