Vol. 9 No. 30                                                            WE COVER THE WORLD                                                        Wednesday March 3, 2010

     She leads the marketing research and in-house creative team, and has been instrumental in PR and brand development activities in the company.
     Tulsi developed the industry segment module used in-house for marketing research.
     She has also recently been appointed the Senior Advisor in Blue Dart for the roll out of the DMAIC (Six Sigma) process within the organization.
     Tulsi joined Blue Dart in 1995 to create and market the air cargo products for the launch of India’s first express airline, establishing agreements with key accounts and international airlines, initiating charter services and setting up the accounting, sales and operations systems for these services.
     Tulsi has an MBA degree in International Aviation from Concordia University, Montreal, and has presented 2 research papers on aviation.
     Here she talks up front and personal about last year and what lies ahead in 2010.

ACNFT:  What will happen in 2010?
TNM:  The trends of the last quarter of 2009 and the initial weeks of 2010 are cause for some optimism. India seems to have weathered the storm of the past year fairly well, food inflation notwithstanding, and is projecting reasonably high economic growth. Aviation turbine fuel prices, however, continue to rise and are almost 29% higher than in the same period of last year. Airport Infrastructure and navigation costs have also increased. All these contribute to higher operating costs. The Indian aviation industry has been through a rough year and I would expect the painful lessons learned would result in a more pragmatic approach towards capacity augmentation coming out of the downturn. As an organization, Blue Dart Aviation has always been conservative and we shall continue to proceed through 2010 with caution, and with sustained focus on quality service delivery.
ACNFT:  What surprised you in 2009?
TNM:  The extent and depth of the global impact was surprising. It has probably been the worst I have experienced in my 35 years in the industry. I guess we can no longer hope to completely insulate ourselves from such world events. In domestic operations such as ours, it adds another management dimension.
ACNFT:  How successful have your initiatives from 2009 been?
TNM:  Fortunately, we recognized the signs of deceleration early and regrouped as a team to plan our response. Every cost head was brought under the scanner, nothing was too small to scale down. Our people rallied around and did a great job, coming up with innovative ideas to deliver positive and better than expected results.
ACNFT:  What are some things you are doing differently than before the financial crises?
TNM:  We are trying to carry over the gains made last year. There is greater awareness and therefore relentless focus on service quality deliverables and costs. We are also reminded that, if people are aligned on strategy, pull in the same direction and deliver on execution, chances are we can beat the odds.
ACNFT:  What can/should everyone in air cargo do to make the industry better?
TNM:  Greater collaboration would certainly help to stimulate the industry and break down barriers that hinder growth. We have a wealth of individual knowledge and experience in the industry, but have somehow refrained from channeling it into a knowledge and research base that could benefit the industry.
ACNFT:  Do you think air cargo will make any major breakthroughs in the years ahead?
TNM:  The pie is big enough for each one to find a niche to develop an individual expertise. We live in a world where resources are no longer confined to the points of production, and that is an opportunity for us. While the base requirement for air transportation will continue, it is inevitable that future models would evolve to cater to this diverse demand, models that would entail more collaboration and consultation, and one that will increasingly be more conscious of the environment.
ACNFT:  Which companies do you admire most?
TNM:  A number of them actually, but they all have some things in common – they are simple business models, have high quality standards, evolve over time and consistently deliver on their promise.
ACNFT:  What would you be doing, if not air cargo?
TNM:  It’s been a very long association and difficult to think of an alternative, but some aspirations would be – education and research (in aviation), giving back to the environment especially in the hilly regions of our country, and maybe extending the weekend orchid-growing hobby to a full time occupation.

Women In Cargo Hall Of Fame

Karen Rondino

Air China Chairman Kong Dong and Cathay Pacific Chairman Christoper Pratt seal the deal.

     Air China Limited and Cathay Pacific Airways Limited signed a Framework Agreement today (25 February) in Beijing to establish a jointly owned cargo airline.
     The two companies will use an existing cargo airline, Air China Cargo Co Ltd (ACC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Air China, as the platform for the joint venture.
     Upon completion of the transaction, ACC will continue to be a subsidiary of Air China. Air China will hold 51% equity in ACC while the Cathay Pacific Group will acquire a 25% equity interest directly in ACC and fund an offshore trust, in the form of a loan, to hold another 24% economic interest in ACC. The total value of the Cathay Pacific Group’s investment in the joint venture will be RMB 1,669 million.
     Cathay Pacific will also sell four freighters and two spare engines to ACC.
     The joint venture partners established their strategic cross-shareholding relationship on 8 June 2006, under which Air China made a direct strategic investment in Cathay Pacific, and Cathay Pacific increased its strategic investment in Air China and assumed 100 per cent ownership of Dragonair. At the same time, both parties signed an operating agreement that also announced their intention to form the cargo joint venture.
     Subject to the approval of the relevant authorities and the respective shareholders of Air China and Cathay Pacific, ACC plans to commence operations as a joint venture airline in the summer of 2010, with Beijing and Shanghai remaining as its principal operating bases.
     The new board of directors at ACC will have seven directors, four (including the chairman) appointed by Air China and three (including the vice-chairman) by the Cathay Pacific Group. The make-up of the board and the management team is designed to take full advantage of the complementary strengths of the two companies in terms of experience and expertise that would prepare ACC for broader international growth.
     ACC began domestic and international operations in 2003 and is now China’s largest all-cargo airline. The joint venture partners will continue to develop its business on this solid foundation. ACC's current cargo business strength is focused on the northern China and Yangtze River Delta (YRD) while Cathay Pacific's core cargo business is the Pearl River Delta (PRD). The PRD and YRD regions are already two of the world’s largest export-generating manufacturing centres and the airfreight trade lanes to Europe and the USA reflect this fact in their size and historic growth rates.
     The establishment of a cargo airline joint venture based in Shanghai by Air China and Cathay Pacific will enable ACC to capture the air cargo business opportunities from the important and competitive YRD region. The complementary strengths of Air China and Cathay Pacific in products, services and expertise will bring to customers more competitive services and greater choice, therefore further strengthening ACC’s competitive position.
     Air China Chairman Mr Kong Dong said: “The restructuring of ACC’s shareholding comprises two major aspects. First, through fleet expansion, we efficiently set the platform for future growth. Secondly, two strong partners team up with complementary strengths to enhance our competitiveness. Given the solid cooperation foundation between Air China and Cathay Pacific, ACC will fully capitalize on both companies’ existing brand strengths and shareholders’ support, to capture business opportunities, maintain leadership position in the market, and contribute to the development of the Beijing and Shanghai aviation hubs.”
     Cathay Pacific Chairman Mr Christopher Pratt said: “We are very excited about this joint venture which further enhances our strong and deepening strategic partnership with Air China. The joint venture airline will provide the two most important cargo-generating regions in the Mainland with two highly competitive and efficient home-based carriers – Cathay Pacific in the Pearl River Delta and ACC in the Yangtze River Delta.
     “Both regions will remain competitive relative to other export zones elsewhere in the world. As a strong home-based cargo airline with a firm foothold in the Yangtze River Delta, ACC will ensure an efficient capture of cargo movements that may otherwise divert to rival hubs in the region. It makes good sense for Cathay Pacific and Air China to team up for this joint venture.”
ACC currently operates seven Boeing 747 freighters. It also procures and sells the cargo “belly space” provided by Air China’s extensive domestic and international passenger network. The airline operates all-cargo services to 14 destinations worldwide.

     A new landmark for air shippers opened yesterday in New York and Dave Brooks was celebrating.
     “We are pleased to provide a state-of-the-art cargo terminal at New York-JFK – one of our most important hubs,” said the President of American Airlines Cargo as a newly renovated air cargo terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport opened for business with all the gee- whiz bells and whistles innovative thinking, including the latest in streamlined handling capability.
     AA Cargo at JFK now features more than 135,000 square feet of warehouse space and 24 dock doors.
     The facility’s high-speed, computerized, Elevated Transfer Vehicle (ETV) handling system includes two 20-foot ETVs with a storage capacity equivalent to 385 upper-deck aircraft positions. The handling system features six dock doors for processing containerized cargo, allowing it to bypass the regular freight-handling activities of the terminal.
     Without even taking a deep breath, the handling system here can accommodate any type of aircraft unit currently in use and moves units at a rate of 60 feet per minute.
     Other features of the facility include three coolers for perishable products, an environmental room, and a live-animal handling area.
     “Our investment in high-speed handling systems for containerized freight, expanded dock and storage capacity, and a beautiful interior environment is designed to maximize the experience of our valued customers,” Mr. Brooks intoned.
     The new facility is located in Cargo Building 79 on the North Boundary Road of JFK International Airport.
More: www.AACargo.com.


Dirk Steiger
Managing Director
Aviainform Consulting GmbH


Contact! Talk To Geoffrey

RE: IATA Cargo Hope & Hype In YVR

Dear Geoffrey,

     Well, that's quite an article!
     Meanwhile you can be sure that IATA Cargo will focus on what matters most and that is putting all our energy into making a difference for our industry.
     Anyway, you asked about numbers of conferences and ACI Cargo.
     Well it's true there is certainly a lot of them. For WCS the focus remains on delivering on promises to make a difference for the industry. This is all that matters and it is this cause where all the money goes that IATA makes. Geoffrey, you and I need to continue this great journey.
     We wish every success for all events that do the same for our industry.
     For other events we do try our best to avoid major conflicts but sometimes this is unavoidable as we do have a regular cycle of decision making governance meetings every year from which it is difficult to break out. In the past we have had an airport track in the World Cargo Symposium and I would be eager to do the same in future years. Airports are of course a critical part of the air cargo supply chain and are our valued business partners.

Aleks Popovich
IATA Head of Cargo

RE: Who Profits from Awards?

Mr. Arend,

     Your recent lunatic ranting and disparaging statements in respect to the forthcoming IATA WCS and ACE awards event require a response.
     You ask “does someone smell a scam?” What is the basis of that question? Your unfounded implication that Air Cargo World is involved in a fraudulent enterprise approaches libel. You question the honesty of our air cargo excellence survey without justification. The survey criteria and subsequent award process are completely transparent. If you were not so blinded by your obsessive compulsion to denigrate what we do, you could see that both are clearly stated. Also, there is no pre-requisite or post-requisite of any kind required by us of the award recipient so the suggestion of a kickback is both baseless and potentially libelous.
     You also erroneously stated that we are giving “Best Airports Awards.” Pardon me while I pause for laughter at your absurd, unfounded conclusions. I don’t have a “Best” survey or awards. If you were a responsible reporter you would know that the survey is very much in line with the suggestions of your “unnamed” top air cargo executive. The survey is conducted by the customer - forwarders for airlines and airlines for airports – in which each are asked to rate their service provider in key disciplines of performance measurements.
     Your assertion that anyone paying $75 to attend an awards function while some companies are struggling during these tough economic times only serves to demonstrate the absurdity of your thought process. Do you really think you can lay a moral guilt trip on the people attending an awards function? This type of rhetoric is so shallow and void of any semblance of validity that you only discredit yourself by suggesting it.
     I find it extremely sanctimonious that you castigate IATA, WorldTek and my company for agreeing to work together toward the benefit of the WCS while you shamelessly profit by asserting yourself on your website as the “Official On-Site Publication World Cargo Symposium Vancouver 2010” right next to the IATA logo. Such hypocrisy leaves you totally without credibility.
     Get over yourself.

Steve Prince
Air Cargo World

Dear Mr. Prince,

     Thanks for writing.
     Reader feedback is what makes Air Cargo News FlyingTypers interesting and unique!
     We have always questioned anything that we find questionable and your reply being published is proof of that; it speaks for itself.
     As you will have seen, we also published a rather measured response from Aleks Popovich IATA head of Cargo.
     It’s heartwarming to know you and the organization you represent are such valiant defenders of IATA!
     I am sure they appreciate it.
     Your personal attacks do not really require nor deserve an answer; they stand on their own.
     Anyone can award whatever they want to anybody; just the expectation that because it’s Air Cargo World and IATA and it is, therefore, beyond reproach is misplaced.
     We call it as we see it and publish commentary, even the poisonous and mock outrage kind and let our readers judge for themselves.
     You brought up costs – and rightfully so!
     To put it in context, IATA member airlines are charged $1,195 (early bird) to $1,395 (regular rate) and “others” $1,395 to $1,595 to attend the IATA World Cargo Symposium.
     Count in airfare, hotel and meals and pretty soon you are talking real money! So what’s another paltry $75 on top to attend an awards function?
     Such generosity with other people’s money!
     Customer satisfaction, profits and the stock price of the airline matter.
     We don’t think an award does.
     We have been totally open concerning Air Cargo News FlyingTypers’ work at branding WCS for the past four years and, as stated, I can only repeat that
“we continue to accentuate the positive, while keeping hope alive, thinking ultimately the verdict on IATA WCS should be tendered based on tangible and measurable results and not by hype."



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