Vol. 12 No. 72                         THE GLOBAL AIR CARGO PUBLICATION OF RECORD                     Wednesday August 14, 2013

he U.S. DOJ’s denial of the proposed $11 billion merger between American Airlines and US Airways will have a minimal to non-existent impact on air cargo.
For his part, Kenji Hashimoto, in a letter to AA Cargo customers, said:
“We do not know how long the court process will take, so in the meantime, American and US Airways will continue to operate as independent companies and as competitors.
“Our focus remains on delivering excellent customer service and meeting your business needs,” Kenji said.
     Outside of the official loop, the consensus of opinion was summed up in very few words.
     “I do not see any impact in terms of air cargo.
     “USArways has never been that big an air cargo player,” a top air cargo executive said.

     One well-placed industry observer, aviation consultant, and former top executive at Delta Cargo—Neel Shah—delivers very strong thoughts as to how the AA/US scenario will develop moving forward:
     “They are going to fight like hell, because they are already so vested in the merger, especially the US team.
     “It will tie them up for weeks if not months heading into the very difficult 4th and 1st quarters.
     “I am guessing overall financial performance at both carriers will slip a bit and DL and UAL will pick up the benefit of that.
     “My gut is that this is going to depend on how far the DOJ has dug their heels into the ground.
     “I don't care about the individual US States involved because, predictably, they are going to sue to stop the merger because they are negatively impacted in some way (notice that NC didn't join because they believe that it is very good for Charlotte).
     “But the more I think about this situation, it is also possible that this approval isn't going to happen because the DOJ really threw everything into the lawsuit and didn't offer any sort of path to eventual approval.
     “So everyone must brace for the possibility that the merger is dead,” Neel Shah said.
     “A real shame for everyone who worked so hard to make it a reality and also a shame for AMR employees who are in limbo because AA will now face a much tougher road to exit bankruptcy as a viable enterprise.
     “I really think the rub here in some part had to do with U.S. government officials not wanting to pay more for airfare.
     “It will be interesting to see what banter comes out in the coming days.
     “In the meantime, it’s a wonderful buying opportunity for DL and even UAL who got beat up (in the markets) for no real good reason.
     “Look for airline stocks to recover in the next week to ten days.”
     Another way to view Tuesday’s stunning announcement, which puts the brakes (for now) on finalizing what would become the biggest airline in the world, is that the AA/US plan is still in place, except everybody working on integration at the carriers has a bit more time to let things unfold while the big picture gets hashed out between the lawyers.
     No doubt, the immediate statement by the carriers that they plan to mount a vigorous defense is in line with the belief that, just like Budweiser’s first attempts to be acquired by Inbev (21b), which was also opposed by U.S. DOJ, eventually some kind of compromise between the two carriers and the U.S. government will be found.
     Reactions to all of this have been immediate and predictable. The Dallas Morning News wrote:
     “DOJ blocks AA US who vow ‘vigorous and strong defense.’
     “It seems inconsistent for the Justice Department to put its thumb on the scales this time when in recent years it has approved mergers of Southwest and AirTran, United and Continental and Delta and Northwest airlines.
     “Those were mega-mergers, too.
     “Both Delta and United had been the third largest airline at the time they proposed their mergers.
     “The Delta merger had the effect of moving American into the No. 2 spot; the United merger dropped American to No. 3.
     “It makes no sense for those marriages to be blessed by Washington and this one not.”
     “The DOJ’s challenge comes just days before AMR and American Airlines were to ask the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York City to confirm their plan of reorganization, a major step toward moving forward. If DOJ prevails, North Texas jobs and billions of dollars in salaries, direct spending, and other economic impacts are once again in limbo,” Dallas Morning News reported.


     At about 6am CDT today (Wednesday Aug. 14) UPS flight 1354, an A300 freighter en-route from SDF/KDSF to BHM/KBHM, crashed on approach to BHM airport just short of the perimeter fence.
     According to local NBC affiliate WVTM, the debris stretches for more than a half mile.
     An NTSB investigation team has been dispatched to the accident site; facts about the possible cause of this accident are not yet available.
     Birmingham Mayor William Bell confirmed that the pilot and co-pilot, who were not identified, were killed in the crash.


Looking back a bit as we get ready to saddle up during the upcoming autumn of 2013, IATA WCS in Doha earlier this year succeeded bringing together "who's who" of the industry.
     This was an excellent starting point.
     I have also noted we are definitely not short of tracks.
     Good thing is almost all the vital issues of our industry were addressed there.
     These two components should give us all a sense of satisfaction although not enough. WCS may succeed in exposing the problems areas of our industry and I sure they will. The key is deliverables and a time line.
     I have learnt we have either polishers who continue to perfect the vision statement.
     The tourist who will observe and talk.
     And the executioner who will deliver results.
     All the roles are important but in the end the industry is asking for deliverables with a time line.
     So talk and exposition alone is not enough. Let us have a WCS with an action list with a time line when the deliverables will be made.

     We are sad to report the passing of Walter Marx in New York City yesterday (Tuesday August 13). He served as Amerford International Corporation President from 1951 until 1989, and was a true transportation pioneer.
     Walter certainly made an impact on transportation and the rails, but his life before cargo reads like the pages of an epic and quite harrowing high adventure.
     Walter Marx was born in Heilbronn, Germany, on February 27, 1926.
     When the hatred of his anti-Semitic classmates became unbearable, 9-year-old Walter moved to Luxembourg to live with relatives.
     Soon Walter’s parents were forced to relinquish control of their business, their home on Kristallnacht was destroyed, and his father was arrested.
     The Germans eventually released his father and both parents joined Walter in Luxembourg.
     After the invasion of Luxembourg, Walter’s family crossed into the unoccupied part of France.
     There his father was arrested by the French police and sent to his death at the Majdanek Concentration Camp in Poland.
     In September 1943, Walter’s family followed the retreating Italian army through the Alps.
     They reached a small town in Italy that was quickly absorbed by the German army.
     One night, working as a laborer for the Germans, he suffered a severe spinal injury. Somehow, he avoided being sent to a concentration camp with his mother and cousin, who never returned.
     Walter joined the Italian Partisans in 1944. His primary responsibility was to solicit food from Italian farmers and manage paperwork.
     While posing as an Italian interpreter for the German SS he gathered critical intelligence and captured an Italian spy sent to locate Jews and partisans hiding in the mountainside.
     His unit actively took up arms as well, once stalling a convoy of troops from advancing on a strategic road to France by employing mortar and small arms fire.
     Walter once said:
     “Being a survivor of the Holocaust you have dual feelings; you are happy to have survived, but you also have a certain guilt feeling.
     “On the other hand, it gives me a certain satisfaction that I fought the evil that caused the death of my family and friends.”
     His friend Jo Frigger, CEO and President of EMO Trans, recalled:
     “I met Walter in the 1970s when we shared some customers without ever getting into a nasty competitive situation.
     “He was always a good person and highly professional forwarder.
     “In the 1980s, when we were running our regular daily charter between JFK and Cologne with a Hapag Lloyd Airbus, Amerford was a valuable co-loader for that service.
     “At that time, Walter’s sons, whom we referred to with the endearment ‘The Marx Brothers,’ were also working with him.
     “Most recently we met and Walter and I exchanged some of the old stories, and he complimented me on the growth of EMO Trans.
     “I’m so very saddened that he is now gone and wish his family and friends every kindness at this time.
     “Walter was a great man and truly unique among all the people in air cargo today.
     “He will be deeply missed,” Jo Frigger said.

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RE: Can TIACA Play The Game?


     Daniel deserves your warm remarks.

Eric J. Williams


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