|Vol. 19 No. 59||
Monday August 24, 2020
Days of Futures Past
Forty-five years ago we endeavored to create a publication unlike any other in the air cargo industry. I learned something important early on in our effort:
In order to have a clearer vision of what lies ahead, we must deal with what happened before.
So, the first order of business at FlyingTypers has always been to cast a clear line to the history of air cargo.
Now with COVID-19 touching every corner of the world and uniting the planet in a common experience, we thought the best way forward was through dialogue with the people who spent the best years of their lives building the industry, but are now in retirement. Who better to turn to in a time of rebuilding and reflection than those who made the journey before us? We are fortunate to have their wisdom to share with those who are doing the heavy, day-to-day lifting in 2020.
We begin with Jacques Ancher, who created the wildly successful modern air cargo structure at KLM Cargo, and Ram Menen, the man who began on the ramp with Emirates Airline and then for three decades was most responsible for SkyCargo emerging as a world power.
We also hear from Dave Brooks, who served as President Cargo for American Airlines from 1996 to 2012.
American Airlines is the biggest airline in the world in 2020. One need only look to the Brooks years to witness the carrier’s cargo enterprise unleashedas a great giant all over the world.
We find it reassuring that although all of these gentlemen put down their swords quite some time ago, like many of us their care and passion for the industry has not faded.
As we have often said and it is especially true here, for Jacques, Ram, and Dave, the song may have ended, but the melody lingers on.
Late night conversations often turn to people we have known over the years in the air cargo business.
Make no mistake about it: despite changes felt in most quarters of the air cargo experience, this industry is still all about people.
There have been a few people who have touched almost every facet of air cargo, even impacting people in companies other than their own.
But in all my 45-plus years in air cargo, there is one individual who stands tallest as a dreamer and doer, and, maybe even more importantly, as a great mentor in the air cargo industry; that person is Jacques Ancher.
KLM brought on ACMI lift as an originator of that form of transportation and positioned itself as the undisputed leader in several segments of air cargo, including live animal and perishables transport.
The driving influence for much of this was Jacques Ancher.
This is what FT Senior Editor Richard Malkin wrote in Flying Typers in 2014 when Jacques entered the TIACA Hall of Fame:
“Jacques has a remarkable ability to reduce difficult issues to common terms, and he sought to maintain a reasonable balance among carrier, forwarder, and customer in a wildly competitive universe.
“In negotiations, his was the exacting language of a businessman, not of the manager of a glamorous service.”
Now, as the world awaits deliverance from COVID-19, here is what Jacques said on Sunday, August 23.
I believe that the industry will do what is expected when the vaccines arrive.
It started all ready with the airbridge to Berlin in 1949, 1,400 flights in 24 hours.
And the delivery of medical supplies earlier this year.
In exceptional situations, the industry is at its best.
The problem starts when this is done. Short-haul leisure travel will come back fast and will continue growing.
The long-haul and business market however will take a long time to recover and it is these larger aircraft that the air cargo industry needs.
Now I believe we will be confronted with the lack of innovation in development of the aircraft.
Add to that the relationship with the forwarder, still keeping each other hostage.
More than 40 years of trying and yet there is still the backlog in automation.
The shifts in global production with 3D printers, the Italian accessories, etc.
Our clients and competition have left us and travelled out of sight. Apple, Amazon, AliExpress.
For the next ten years, I believe, the strategy is operating jointly as one entity: passenger and cargo working together in concert to optimize revenue and costs.
If people do not agree, blame my age or the heatwave.
Netherlands August 23.
If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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Vol. 19 No. 56
Vaccines Can Get It On American
India China Boycott Takes Hold
Letters for August 3, 2020
Good Guy Retires In A Minute
Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller
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