Vol. 10 No. 58                          THE GLOBAL AIR CARGO PUBLICATION OF RECORD SINCE 2001           Friday June 17, 2011

     Air cargo trade on international routes to and from China is now becoming more balanced, but overcapacity remains a threat to yields according to one leading European airline.
     A spokesperson for Air France Cargo-KLM Cargo told Air Cargo News/FlyingTypers that the traditional imbalance on China lanes had diminished, although exports from China were still stronger than imports.
     “It seems clear that the progressive outcome of a significant middle-class, size-wise, in China with a better purchasing-buying power helps in rebalancing the trade flows,” he said.
     “China is acquiring more goods compared to before, which enables us all to see better figures for air cargo imports in China. And this is a good point for the economic line-haul results of our flights.
     “However, over-capacity, whether on China routes or elsewhere on other networks, remains a permanent big matter of concern for airlines on all legs.”
     He said overcapacity had prompted the carrier to modify its global economic model to decrease the amount of capacity made available to the market by its fleet of Air France freighters.
     “This is in order to better use and optimize the natural, important structural capacity offered by our large fleet of long-haul passenger aircrafts, especially when you consider the very significant capacity offered by our large fleet of B777-300 ERs,” he said.
     "However, our global capacity and the possibilities offered to our customers remain the same, in terms of main deck capacity, due to the combinations we can offer - thanks to the strong partnership inside our group with Martinair's freighters and KLM Combis.
     “The capacity offer thus remains the same for our customers.
     “Full freighters are used to adapt and adjust for the additional, clearly identified needs on some high trade routes relations between Far-East Asia and Europe, or on other routes elsewhere around the world.”
     He said AF-KLM was now seeing improved bellyhold yields on China lanes, but more could still be done to optimize the use of its passenger freight payload capacity rather than introduce additional freighter capacity to meet rising import demand.
     “You have to be careful and wise about what you are doing,” he said. “Revenue management and yield policies help you to improve your figures in this sense.
     “Adding freighter capacities on a network is smart only when it clearly makes sense financially to do so.
      Otherwise it is, evidently, much better to enhance your abilities in optimizing the filling-in of your passenger flights' belly holds.”
Sky King


RE:  An Aerotropolis Too Far

Dear Geoffrey:
      As Director of Airports for the City of St. Louis, I have been an avid follower of your publication. Like many others, I respect your reporting and rely on the information you provide.
     You were kind enough in your June 14, 2011 issue to feature our rapid recovery from the EF 4 tornado that recently hit our Airport.
      In your recent issue, you discussed the concept and the book Aerotropolis. It was of great interest since the City of St Louis and State of Missouri have been studying and considering the concept for the last four years.
      You also ran a lengthy article from Michael Webber that was critical of our efforts in St. Louis. Your Editor's note did disclose that Mr. Webber is currently on assignment for the City of Chicago Department of Aviation. Many of your readers may not have noticed this small print disclosure, but at very best it would indicate a conflict of interest and may explain a distortion of the facts.
      We hope that with this understanding, your readers will be able to decide for themselves whether Mr. Webber was making a well-reasoned argument against St. Louis, or has another agenda.
      Mr. Webber implied that we tackled this initiative with very little thought, study or planning. That makes us suspicious of his motives, because the opposite is true. We thought long and hard, planned for years, conducted studies, had scores of rubber chicken dinners, and looked at spread sheet after spread sheet before concluding that the opportunity was real and attainable.
      We did significant independent research. For instance, in 2009, we engaged Guenter Rohrmann and his consulting company, AeroStrada, to fully analyze the potential for developing a primary Midwest Cargo Hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. He concluded the potential was there.
      We hired Stephen Perry of the London Export Corporation and chair of The 48 Group to help build a close relationship with key people in the Chinese government, business community and aviation industry. His company, started by his father, has worked in China for the past 60 years. They have unparalleled experience, insight, and access. President Nixon’s administration called upon them to gain a better understanding of China before the opening of China/U.S. relations. Over the last four years, Perry not only helped us build relationships, he was instrumental in helping us convince the Chinese that an international cargo hub would work in St. Louis. As a result, China Cargo Airlines is currently in discussions with Lambert and multiple airport vendors for future air cargo service.
      Most recently the RCGA (St. Louis Regional chamber & Growth Association) engaged Princeton-based Biggins Lacy Shapiro in tandem with the international logistics advisory firm Institute St. Onge, to produce an Economic Impact Study of the introduction of international air cargo services in St. Louis.
      I have attached a copy of the impact study for your review.
      This combination of AeroStrada, London Export Corporation, Biggins Lacy Shapiro and Institute St. Onge can hardly be classified as “performing a meager analysis” or “without any independent analysis,” as Mr. Webber alleged.
      Furthermore, the Missouri Department of Transportation and the Center for Engineering Logistics & Distribution of the University of Missouri made an air and ground traffic comparison between St Louis and Chicago. They concluded St. Louis will be competitive.
      We understand that we are entering a new market. We understand that to do so means we will have to provide incentives in the early years.
      So, after four years of diplomatic missions, business meetings, study and debate, we introduced legislation in the Missouri General Assembly. The legislation calls for a total of $360M in tax credits over an eight-year period (not $400M as stated in the article..) Sixty million dollars is directly related to supporting new air cargo export activity through an incentive for freight forwarders. These credits require that investment or export activity take place before the application for tax credits.
      The other $300M in tax credits (over eight years) will be focused on attracting investment in jobs related to international air cargo service: distribution, warehousing, freight forwarding, manufacturing and value added production. This could create millions of square feet of industrial capacity for companies who want to handle, distribute, assemble, and manufacture goods going to and from China and other International markets. It will be an enormous opportunity to create wealth and jobs.
      As I indicated at the outset, this article by Michael Webber is full of factual errors and clearly misleading, specifically with regard to airport funding. We fully understand our responsibilities under the current FAA funding system and plan on using the existing cargo facilities for all new activity. To accommodate future growth, we have entered into a development agreement with Aeroterm, a well known private developer of airport properties, to develop 88 acres owned by the Airport. There are hundreds of acres of nearby land that is also suitable for development of facilities related to international air cargo.
      We strongly believe that in this part of the country, there is a need for an alternative to O’Hare and feedback from shippers and forwarders confirms this. Chicago has a great airport and it will always serve the world from a passenger and cargo perspective but it has its challenges, frustrations and limitations which provide an opportunity for competition and creativity. We believe we are on the right track since this strategy has generated interest beyond China extending into other international markets.
      St Louis’s history was based on transportation and communications and being in the ‘center of the center’ provides our industry with great opportunity for growth and improvement.

Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge
Airport Director
Lambert-St. Louis Int'l Airport

First Lady Director Lambert

     As one of the few big city female airport directors in America today, Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge was described by The St. Louis Beacon shortly after she assumed command of historic Lambert field in January 2010 as “the public face of a historic airport making its way through the turbulent winds of change.”
     Just how turbulent the winds were to be was unimaginable as just about a year later on Good Friday 2011, as those violent killer tornados that ripped through St. Louis also caused upheaval and major damage to the airport, Rhonda stood her ground at Lambert telling reporters:
     “We're not going to have the prettiest airport, but we are an operating facility," she said.
     Through that ordeal Rhonda Hamm Niebruegge was given high marks for her steady leadership bringing calm in the thick of the chaos.
     She has worked in the airline industry in St. Louis since the late 1980s, most recently was managing director of American Airlines and before that with TWA.
     Hamm-Niebruegge, a graduate of the University of Missouri, Columbia, was born and raised in the boot heel town of Oran, Mo.
     Interestingly she studied German at Mizzou thinking that after college she would move into a career at the CIA.
     She told The St. Louis Beacon :
     “My goal when I went to college was to work for the CIA, and I had wanted to be an interpreter.
     “That was my intent.
     “Obviously, that's not the route I took.
     “It's funny, but when you walk out of college you take whatever jobs are there at the time.
     “My first job was with Ozark Air Lines.
      “They were opening up at LaGuardia (New York) in the early '80s and they had a philosophy that they only hired from the Midwest.
     “They came and spoke on campus at Mizzou, and I said I don't mind going to New York.
     “My thought was it would help get me closer to an international setup.
     “And I just never left.”
Geoffrey Arend


Heide Enfield


     St. Louis An Aerotropolis Too Far?
     That headline from our Tuesday June 14 issue has gone viral as the most read political blog in Kansas City Missouri headlined and linked back to our story in this manner:
    Likewise A Missouri-based Libertarian think tank has cited the Air Cargo News FlyingTypers article as well: To read click here
     Michael Webber who penned “Aerotropolis” was also featured on KMOX the top St. Louis radio station in an interview related to our story. KMOX is also the voice of the baseball St. Louis Cardinals:
     Last night some more was revealed that apparently is in some part driving the initiative. Here is a live report on Fox News St. Louis.


Even Dozen As
Dubai Hosts Air Show

     Dubai Airshow began as Arab Air in 1986 - a small civil aviation trade show organized at the Dubai World Trade Center.
     In 2007 as Dubai Airshow reached it’s tenth birthday the event smashed every known record in the world for aircraft trade and air shows with a landmark total order book of more than $155 billion in new aircraft sales.
     By the time the 11th Dubai Airshow was held in 2009 the show hosted 890 exhibitors from 47 countries.
Coming just after the economic downturn, Dubai Airshow proved that the industry is still robust and growing in the Middle East.
     Now getting ready at DXB Dubai Airshow slated November 13-17, 2011 at Airport Expo, promises even more as the foremost aerospace event in the Middle East and the fastest growing airshow in the world.
     This year at the 12th Dubai Airshow numbers at the aerospace event are expected to top the exhibitors from 47 countries and almost 53,000 industry professionals from 138 countries during the 2009 gathering.
More: http://www.dubaiairshow.aero/contact-us


     We continue our coverage of the upcoming 100 Years of Air Cargo celebration this summer in Germany as a week-long celebration commences August 17 with meetings and special parties in Frankfurt plus the unveiling of a new book commissioned by Lufthansa titled “100 Years of Air Cargo” authored by Prof. Dr. Rainer Gries of University of Vienna coupled with some presentations and discussion with air cargo legends.
     Landing page to keep up with 100 Years of Air Cargo is http://www.100-years-air-cargo.com/
     But back when it all began air cargo took off in Germany on the fragile paper and wire wings of a tiny airplane as our Senior Contributing Editor Guenter F. Mosler tells the story:

     100 years of Air Cargo will be celebrated in Germany this upcoming summer. The first freighter flight ever was a chartered aircraft that urgently brought two packs of the newspaper “Berliner Morgenpost” from the airfield in Berlin-Johannisthal to Frankfurt on the river Oder (now the border of Germany-Poland). The Prussian Postmaster authorized a scheduled air mail trial in the Rhein-Main region by the Emperor.
     The journey on behalf of the German General Post Master was conducted by a “Gelber Hund” (yellow dog) built in a factory owned by aviation pioneer August Euler.
     The circle-flight was piloted by Ferdinand von Hiddessen.
     Although the Frankfurt Exhibition in 1909 was named after the Zeppelins ILA – for “Luftschiff,” many enthusiasts gathered around Frankfurt Rebstock to see what August Euler was constructing on the airport he owned.
     After that first air mail flight, aeroplanes built by Euler later began popping up around the world including in far away Brazil and of course North America.
     The first pilot license ever issued by the Deutscher Luftschiffer Verband (assocation of German airship operators) carried the name August Euler.
     It is interesting that as early as 1874, Germany’s postmaster general had designed a contract for mail transported by air.
     An advertising campaign to send mail by air at astronomical rates—ten times the normal postage—was launched in June of 1912.
     Zeppelin “Schwaben” and the four “Yellow Dogs” flying for DELAG/Deutsche Post carried 460,700 letters and postcards around Germany that month.
     August Euler also owned Darmstadt-Griesheim airport where the factory was located after Frankfurt-Rebstock got “congested” in 1911.
     Darmstadt is the first officially operated and registered airport in Germany – and most probably in the world.
The site was then used for U.S. Army choppers after WWII and was idle until recently, when Fraport and the Darmstadt Technical University started an initiative to save whatever is still left of the place – including a collection of some aviation artifacts gathered by Hector Cabezas and his wife Paula.
     Credit for this intitative must go to Prof. Dr. Manfred Schoelch and the late Dr. Michael Wustrack.
     Mrs. Ursula Eckstein – granddaughter of the founder of Darmstadt-Griessheim Airport – created a book from her huge private collection of documents and photographs, which were handed down over the years.
     A rich archive of early aviation pictures are available @ http://august-euler-museumsverein.de.
     But all of this leads to the grand celebration this August at Frankfurt Main.
Guenter Mosler

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