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   Vol. 13 No. 86  
Wednesday October 15, 2014

ATC Is Unbeatable

     Now that Summer 2014 has receded in the rearview mirror, CEO of super GSSA ATC Aviation Ingo Zimmer has just returned from taking the show on the road to TIACA Incheon last week. The autumn season is beginning, and the company he guided to greatness continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2014, which also marks a banner business year for ATC.
     If the past is prologue, then today is tomorrow for this fast moving, engaged global excutive, who is out looking for new worlds to conquer.
     “Our mission is to be the best Cargo GSSA based on the experience and the expertise of offerings delivered by our selected team of top air cargo specialists,” Ingo declares.
     Ingo seemed especially pleased to announce that beginning this month on October 1, 2014, ATC commenced representing Jet Airways of India, serving as that carrier’s GSSA in Germany.
     “ATC is now engaged in propelling the Jet Airways brand with new synergies and enthusiasm that will continue in the months and years ahead,” Ingo told FT in an interview.
     “ATC has also secured agreements during 2014 with CAL offline, Air Astana, and Air New Zealand for Texas in the United States.
     “Elsewhere, ATC now represents Camair Cargo online in France and offline across the rest of Europe.”

Birds Fly South

     ATC has also spread its wings to South America this year and now the company banner is present in Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador.
     Still to come in ATC’s rising year are three other countries “to be added to the company’s service offering before the end of the 2014,” Ingo Zimmer says.
     We wonder about the further integration of Platinum Cargo, acquired by ATC in 2013.
     “The integration of Platinum in our organization was a great success,” Ingo smiles.
     “We had from start-up certain synergy effects leading to new contracts.
     “The U.S. team is achieving their numbers and doing extremely well.
     “Under the management of Don Cochran and Timothy Pfeil, the company continues to grow the ATC brand.
     “Don is regional director for North America, and with ATC a leader in the market we are now concentrating on growing our organization in South America, with the goal of becoming the strongest GSSA in the Latin market as well.”

African Expansion

     Mr. Zimmer said that in addition to RSA, ATC is currently operating in Mozambique and has two additional countries in its sights for start up toward the end of this year or early in 2015.
     “In 2015 we will continue to grow in Africa as we move to develop the ATC brand in Asia as well,” Ingo Zimmer said.

Personal Touch

      But ATC, which always had the reputation of “hands on” and “personal touch” has been able—despite rapid growth—to maintain its service and customer contact levels.
     “Nothing has changed.
     “The personal touch and the strong will to satisfy both customers served by us on the airline and the agents’ side, and to become the best GSSA, is still there as the driving force in all we do.
     “At the beginning, when ATC was smaller, our managers in Germany, Switzerland, and France were handpicked.
     “It’s the same case today, even though now we are getting bigger.
     “Our managers and partners worldwide have to comply and meet all criteria for all our customer-oriented and straightforward business models, and with the personal touch.
     “Having no surprises and maintaining a predictable experience with every ATC office is the fundamental basis of our success, and as we grow bigger and bigger that will continue.”

Looking Ahead

      “In fact, last year (2013) was not bad for us at all.
     “For 2014 we are benefiting from additional capacities that especially our Middle East carriers provide.
     “ATC serves the leading carriers of the Middle East, including Etihad Airways Cargo, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines.
     “Some other notable members of the ATC family of airlines include Ethiopian Airlines adding new B-777 freighters to the network.
     “ANA to Japan is now operating four flights a day out of Germany; offering B-777 passenger aircraft with plenty of cargo lift to some of our customers is like ‘little freighters.’”

Looking At Tomorrow

     Currently at the top of his game, Ingo thinks the air cargo industry of tomorrow has never looked better.
     “From my vantage point, the new generation includes more than enough motivated, talented, and skilled specialists in all fields, including airlines, agents, and handlers.
     “The aviation business—and also air cargo—is still very interesting for young people looking for challenges.
     “For many of us today and I think the generation to come, the smell of kero is irresistible,” Ingo smiles.

Time Off

      Ask Ingo Zimmer where another station will be opened, and the family man says right away:
     “Cuba. Being married to a Cuban from Havana, I am quite often in Cuba. “Yes I have the feeling that it is getting slightly better with small private businesses under Raul [Castro].
     “But Cuba is still a poor country, very much dependent on tourism and sugar cane.
     “I think the big problem is that the country still remains quite isolated.”

Would Do It Again

     “Given another chance to choose a career, of course it would be air cargo.
     “This is the most exciting job you can have.
     “You are in aviation, the cargo people are straightforward, and your playground is the world.
     “There are business friends everywhere, and every day in so many places you can see the results of your work.
     “When I began my career, I was selling, I was booking, I was doing the load plan.
     “And when the cargo docs were handed to the aircraft crew and the cargo holds were closed, I often stayed at the ramp and watched as the aircraft departed.
     “I knew I did my job, but I also realized those planes were going to places yet to be discovered, and that drove my imagination.
     “Now my job description is different, but to me air cargo is still exciting.
     “I can endorse cargo as a career, and would love to see my sons grow up and become air cargo specialists,” Ingo Zimmer said.

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