Vol. 10  No. 38                    THE GLOBAL AIR CARGO PUBLICATION OF RECORD SINCE 2001                  Tuesday April 26, 2011

American Airlines Cargo Women At Key Posts

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      We spoke to four very important women at American Airlines Cargo, all of whom are occupying key posts in the cargo chain; Trish Hollinrake serves as Vice President, American Airlines Cargo Operations; Geri Cristel is Managing Director, Operations, Chicago; Taryn Phillips is Managing Director, Operations, Los Angeles; and Jeannie Driscoll is Managing Director, Operations, Miami.
      Welcome to our American Airlines edition of Women in Air Cargo.

      We asked Trish Hollinrake, VP of Cargo Operations, what were the absolute top priorities in air cargo operations.
      “Our top cargo priorities continue to be reliable, consistent performance and a positive customer experience. Operationally, we are spending significant time and resources evaluating our processes and procedures. Our objectives are to streamline handling, challenge the status quo to identify and implement efficiencies to the operation and to leverage technologies that enable AA to better manage the logistics flow from end-to-end.
       “AA Cargo Operations is also redefining the role our field teams play, and continues to implement organizational changes designed to focus on the customer and to keep customers proactively informed while shipments are being handled through our network—whether via a phone call, an email, or online resources. In addition, we are striving to increase visibility of freight movement through every step of the shipment lifecycle. Our goal is to provide the very best air cargo service while ensuring our customers have the information they need to know that their shipments are being handled to their satisfaction.”
       We asked Geri Cristel, Managing Director of Operations in Chicago for AA Cargo, how, in a male dominated business, she has managed to grab the attention of the large group of individuals of which she is in command, and how she has held their interest.
      “Honestly, I don’t ever think about gender in business transactions. Experience, job knowledge, and keeping up to date on changes in our industry are the keys to success in the cargo business. My background at two airlines, 3 cities, and several freight forwarders in the last 30 years, in cargo operations and sales, has helped me to understand the obstacles our customers face every day. Cargo is somewhat unique in that people tend to stay in the business for a long time; I have known many of our customers for over 20 years. They sometimes change company affiliation, but the rapport that has been established always remains.
      We asked Taryn Phillips, Managing Director of Operations in Los Angeles, how and where she entered into cargo operations, and where she would be if she weren’t where she is today.
       “My career with American Airlines began in 2001 working at DFW Passenger Sales. In 2003, I learned about an opening for a Cargo Sales Account Manager position at LAX and thought it would be an exciting opportunity to see another side of our business. I progressed to Global Account Manager, Southwest Regional Sales Manager, and then to my current role as MD Cargo Ops LAX.
      “If given the chance to start over, I would definitely do it all over again! This is such a unique industry, with so much opportunity and diversity. The people I have met, experiences we have shared, and the relationships that we built are priceless!
      “If I had to choose something other than air cargo, I would probably look for a role in another part of the transportation industry. I love to travel and I love the global nature of our business, so I can't imagine straying too far!”
      When asked what she thought women, as opposed to men, bring to air cargo, her response was fair and honest: “I don't believe that either men or women are inherently limited in what they can accomplish, but we go about solving problems in different ways. By working together, we are able to look at challenges from new viewpoints and come up with solutions that we might have otherwise missed.”
      And finally, we spoke with Jeannie Driscoll, Managing Director of Operations in Miami, who is responsible for one of the most important stations for American Airlines Cargo. Curious as we were about the pressure such a job might entail, Jeannie seems to handle it all while remaining cool as a cucumber.
      “It is very exciting and challenging for me to lead one of American's largest and most complex Cargo operations in the system. My hope for my legacy is that I was respected by the employees I had the privilege to work with over the years, that I was a manager that cared about the people, was always fair and honest with them, and made contributions to the Company that had a positive impact on the operation at AA.”
      The amount of time and work such an operation entails had us wondering about family, children, and the possibilities, if any, for a social life.
      “Cargo is an operations driven business that can require 24 hours/day oversight. Therefore, for me it is about, first, setting realistic boundaries at work and at home with my family. Secondly, and most importantly, staying focused on those boundaries and having the support of the Company and my family has allowed me to achieve the balance I need in my professional and personal life.”
Flossie Arend


ACG Coming To America

    Hahn-based carrier ACG has obtained traffic rights for scheduled flights into the USA.
    “We target New York’s JFK airport and Chicago,” announced CEO Michael Bock (pictured with ACD President Wolf-Dietrich von Helldorf) while addressing more than 60 attendees at the recent meeting of the Air Cargo Club Deutschland (ACD) in Frankfurt. However, the transatlantic flights will only commence if there is sufficient market demand, emphasized the manager. This goes for Latin American routes to Sao Paulo (Viracopos), Quito and Bogota as well. They are also on ACG’s agenda for future operation. Completing the wish list is South Korean’s Incheon airport, which the cargo carrier is also targeting.
    The earliest date to add some of the aforementioned destinations to the newcomer’s current network is next October.
    A fifth Boeing B747-400F is expected to join the fleet within that time frame. Further plans foresee an additional craft for 2012, which will boost the fleet to six jumbo freighters, but “this decision will only be taken if there is sufficient volume to constantly fill the plane,” says Bock.
    According to the manager, line-haul flights account for 85 percent of the total turnover, while 15 percent derive from charter services. The ideal would be a mix of 70 percent scheduled traffic and 30 percent charter missions since “the latter facilitate higher margins,” stated Bock.
    Last year ACG posted “a minor loss” resulting from severe technical problems with a leased Martinair B-400F. The freighter broke one of its landing gears at Hong Kong airport last fall shortly before takeoff, which led to operational disruptions of more than three weeks. A French MRO provider that oversaw the crack when overhauling the landing gear was responsible for causing the Hong Kong breakdown. Insurance will pay for repairing the damage but will not take financial responsibility for the operational forfeitures resulting from the incident. In addition, rising fuel prices and the fact that last year’s fourth quarter elapsed without increased cargo volumes have debited the carrier’s finances. “We anticipated a peak season but nothing much happened,” resumed Bock.
    According to its business plan, ACG is interested in getting a financier on board for injecting further funds, preferably a bank, in order to expand the cargo carrier’s fleet and global network further. Stated the CEO:     “What we are not doing is looking for a strategic investor.”
    Last year ACG transported a total of 95,000 tons. This will be topped in 2011 with an estimated 145,000 tons.
Heiner Siegmund

FedEx Rolls 777s For India

(R-L) In New Delhi, Kenneth Koval, FedEx Vice President Operations, India & Rakesh Shalia, MD - Marketing Middle East, Indian subcontinent & Africa with the newly introduced B777F aircraft.

      Showing off the Fedex Delhi gateway, Kenneth F. Koval, Vice President, Operations, FedEx Express India, announced the launch of the new intercontinental flight route with a B-777F, which will provide significant service improvements for customers shipping between the U.S., Middle East, India and Europe. On display was a Boeing 777F, which connects Delhi and North India to the world. The 777F, said Koval, will provide Indian businesses with better international connectivity as well as additional capacity.
      The Delhi gateway is proving to be very important for Fedex. Commenting on the flight, Koval said, “The response to our flight to China, which actually runs from our hub in APAC to Mumbai to Delhi and back to our hub, has grown considerably since our launch. It has had a fantastic response. Delhi especially is a strong market for the connection to China. So far there has been continued growth.”
      Rakesh Shalia, MD, Marketing Middle East, Indian subcontinent & Africa, who was also with Koval, pointed out that “from our trade perspective, India to China is one of our biggest importing routes. This flight not only serves China but also serves Asia-Pacific with our hub in Canton. It started very well and we are getting a lot of positive responses from our customers. A lot of manufacturing customers based out of Delhi are availing that flight.”
       For customers, said Shalia, “the flight provides a value proposition ­ next day service from the Delhi-North India region to China…” Shalia also said that there was a slowdown this year, “which was expected in February because of the Chinese New Year when business is closed for two weeks. But it has picked up again.”
      The deployment of the new freighter is part of a series of service and capabilities upgrades by Fedex in India to strengthen the company's commitment to offer unprecedented connectivity and world-class services.       The additional payload capacity from India will enable businesses of all sizes to capitalize on untapped global business opportunities. Koval mentioned that the 777F was the world's largest twin-engine cargo aircraft. In typical Fedex operations, the 777 Freighter has a revenue payload capacity of 178,000 pounds (81 metric tons), and can fly 5,800 nautical miles, or just over three times the approximate length of India. That represented a payload improvement of 14,000 pounds and range improvement of 2,100 nautical miles over the MD-11, which had been the primary long_haul aircraft in the company’s fleet.
      “Indian businesses are now increasingly expanding beyond geographical boundaries and trading at a global level. This widespread growth has been a strong driving force behind increased cargo space and enhanced connectivity," said Koval. "The deployment of a new Boeing 777F is aimed at meeting this demand. The aircraft will offer improved payload capacity, thus addressing the growing need for additional space as well as further underlining our commitment to offering unparalleled connectivity to our customers in India."
      Koval also mentioned Fedex’s flights out of Bangalore that were started last year. “The flight out of Bangalore connects westbound ­ Bangalore, Mumbai, Dubai, CDG. The flight launched very well and has held steady, heavy loads.”
      On the competition in the domestic market, Koval said that in two years time Fedex would be able to “integrate our acquisition of (the recently-acquired) AFL. After that we will be a single family of branded Fedex products. The market in India is growing tremendously. The express market is growing at a fast pace in the country so there appears to be lots of opportunities for us and our customers in the country.”
      Would Fedex think of putting in freighters in the domestic market? Koval said that with AFL, the company had “expanded our domestic service. We continue to look at whether it makes sense for us to put in domestic freighters… To offer a good value proposition we will have to acquire domestic freighters in India… but we don’t have any plans now.”
      However, the challenges of infrastructure have to be countered. Said Koval: “The road structure in India is improving and India is investing money to better the roads, but there are challenges. Something that will actually help the road structure potentially is the General Sales Tax because part of the problem we have with the road structure is border crossings (between province to province with each province or state having its own rate of sales tax).”
      Shaila also mentioned that, “We have challenges at the airport although we have a fantastic structure in Delhi ­ the best in India. Ultimately we all have to work with the challenges and we are meeting those challenges.”
      The flight enhancements introduced by Fedex Express in Europe, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa is aimed to support increasing customer demand by adding capacity for key markets. In addition to the five weekly direct flights between China and India to strengthen the burgeoning trade lane between India and Asia, Fedex also launched a new connection between Europe and Asia in 2010 with a direct round-trip flight between Paris and Hong Kong - one of FedEx Express highest yielding trade lanes.
Tirthankar Ghosh


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Hands Off Flying Typers

Hi Geoffrey,

     Regarding today’s issue of Flying Typers, I was shocked and dismayed by the comments from “Frank” the former Flying Tigers VP.
If anyone is qualified to use the name “Flying Typers” it is you, you have earned your stripes and have every right to that title.
I am sure many regular readers will join me in saying “Hands off Flying Typers”

Best regards
Peter Walter
Marketing Manager
CHAMP Cargosystems


      I regret that Frank (?) representing himself as a VP of Flying Tigers takes exception with your fine publication.
      I was the Sr. VP - Asia Division when we were acquired by FedEx.
      Thirty nine (39) years with Tigers starting out as a cargo handler in DEN.
      I remained for another five (5) years at the personal request of Fred Smith, who I hold in the highest respect, as VP - North Pacific. I resided in TYO for twenty one (21) years. I have a large number of Japanese friends (all who survived the latest Tsunami) tragedy).
      Retired to my small apple farm outside of Sebastopol, CA. which is a great difference from living in metropolitan TYO and better than living in MEM.
      I find your publication very informative, interesting and in excellent taste.
      I really miss Air Cargo (my life) and your publication helps fill that void.
      I know of a number of Tiger/FedEx retirees who enjoy your website.
      So tell any other complaining Tigers to take a cold shower.
      Keep up the good work.

Paul A. Stokes
Sr. VP - Asia Division
Flying Tiger Line, Inc
VP - North Pacific (ret)


One Great Commercial

Cargo is on top with a great ad from American Airlines; here is one for another part of AA’s biz.


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