Vol. 9 No. 126                                                  WE COVER THE WORLD                                 Saturday November 20, 2010

Lion Trips Light Fantastic

"If I had my druthers, I'druther fly SWISS World Cargo."

     Hello, I am Kara. Kara is Romanian and means ‘darling.’ Here you can see me standing in a box at Zurich airport in Switzerland. There, five companions and I were brought to catch a Swiss plane heading to Johannesburg. Traveling with me were my two sons, a male lion called Tecuci, plus Simona and Lea, two lionesses from Bulgaria. Together, we numbered six.
     We all have been kept in captivity at private zoos, safari parks, and small circuses or, in case of Tecuci, held in a little shed by a private “master.” Our owners didn’t care much about us and neglected our maintenance. Locked up in small cages, we could hardly move. We had no chance to follow our natural behavior patterns.
      In winter (Romanian winters can be very harsh), my cubs and I were kept in unheated containers most of the time. At some nights, temperatures fell below 15 degrees Celsius. Somehow we managed to survive. A miserable fate we met, day after day. Most humans I guess would call it torture, the way we were kept and treated.
     But circumstances have changed lately. Bulgaria now has one of the strictest laws in the European Union when it comes to animal husbandry. To keep unregistered wild animals in privacy is forbidden there. That’s why a number of circuses and privately run zoos had to close recently and find a new place for their living inventory.
      In Romania, the guidelines are much laxer, but an increasing number of smaller zoos run out of funds so they are forced to shut their doors. For us, this led to further deterioration of our living conditions.
     FOUR PAWS was given a hint. This 1988-founded organization gives wild animals that had been raised and held in captivity a new habitat.
     That explains why last Thursday, a courier vehicle suddenly stopped at our shed. We were all put in cages and lifted on board the vehicle. I heard the drivers mumble the word “Bethlehem” a couple of times before the transporter brought us to Zurich, where a Swiss Airbus stood to fly us off.
     Finally, after a journey of roughly 48 hours, I know what the Romanian drivers meant when mentioning Bethlehem. It’s a place in South Africa’s eastern Free State halfway between Johannesburg and Durban.      There, the organization FOUR PAWS built a 1,250 hectare sanctuary for big cats called ‘Lions Rock.’      Meantime, more that 60 lions, tigers, cheetahs and karakals are living in this habitat, enjoying their newly won freedom after being caged in Eastern Europe. That’s where we are now, thanks to FOUR PAWS, forwarding agent Animals First, and Swiss WorldCargo.
      To us, Bethlehem is divine, a paradise on earth. I’m waiting for the arrival of Dr. Marc Loose now, a dentist from Hamburg that comes down to Lions Rock regularly to take care of the animals’ teeth. And mine very badly need treatment after gnawing and biting the metal bars of my Romanian cage for some years.
Kara with a little help from Heiner Siegmund

Thanks from Kara to the following people

Isidor Rosenbaum Senior Relationship Manager VIER PFOTEN (FOUR PAWS)
We collaborate closely with environmental organizations and also authorities, especially in countries like Romania and Bulgaria. This way, we get to know if a private zoo is shutting down or if private owners are keeping wild animals illegally. That’s when we step in right away to change the creatures’ fate. So far, we have been very successful as our many projects demonstrate. They span from Lions Rock in South Africa to bear sanctuaries in Austria, Germany and some other European states. VIER PFOTEN is a Vienna-headquartered NGO, purely financed by private donors.

Helmut Bogner
head of Animals First

We are a forwarding agent, and are a part of a complex supply chain that enables lions to escape captivity and get into freedom is something very special. Since we are a dedicated agent for transporting animals by air, the animal charity organization FOUR PAWS approached us soon after we were founded in summer 2004 to take care of their intercontinental shipments. All in all, we manage approximately 930 transports every year. Major consignees are the U.S. Police and the Canadian Mounted Police. They constantly import European-bred and trained dogs for sniffing explosives or drugs at airports, harbors and borders.

Oliver Evans
Chief Cargo Officer Swiss WorldCargo

We are delighted to have been able to play our part in the rescue and rehabilitation of such magnificent animals as these lions.
Every piece of freight that we carry has its own story to tell, from the spare part that will be used in a factory to repair machinery and keep the business going, to the live human organ brought to a hospital bed to save a critically patient. But these stories are often never told in the hectic processes of our own factory, where all the attention of my colleagues and of our partners is focused on ensuring the safe and on-time delivery of the thousands of shipments we handle every day.
It is therefore especially pleasing to have the opportunity to publicize the story of Kara and her cubs, as their tale is an especially poignant one, and one that should make everyone involved in their transportation to Africa proud to have been part of the story.

Michel Bonsera Head of Acceptance Screening & Dangerous Goods Cargologic Ltd

We are a handling agent. Wild animals like lions, bears or tigers is always a very special task, although we have constant shipments here in Zurich, be it snow leopards, apes, alpacas or lamas. The primary objective of our teams is to prevent any hectic and stress; everything is done very calmly in a quiet manner by our staff. Our first priority is the well-being of the animals and the shortest possible stay here at our warehouse.


Patel Nears End Of The Line

     India’s Civil Aviation ministry could see a change of guard soon if Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh decides to go ahead with a reshuffle of his Cabinet that he has been contemplating for quite some time. During a recent meet of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) Guild in Delhi, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was in his elements.
     He told the controllers that he had been at his post for a long time: mentioning the four times that he had attended the annual event, he said, “That shows I’ve been here long enough. Maybe, it’s time to move on.”
     Minister Patel has wanted to quit his post for some time now. In May this year, when the Air India Express flight crashed in Mangalore, he was reported to have told the Prime Minister that he wanted to quit, owning moral responsibility for the first such incident in his six years at the top in the Civil Aviation Ministry.
     In response, Dr. Singh apparently told him “not to get carried away” and that there was a job to be done.
     In another development, Minister Patel said that cash-strapped Air India is likely to receive aid soon, an equity infusion of around Rs1,200 crore as the government’s Cabinet Committee for Economic Affairs (CCEA) has raised no pre-condition issues.
     ''CCEA will review the progress of Air India and give the budgeted amount in November,'' he said. The rest of the recovery plan for the airline lies with RBI, which needs to approve the carriers’ debt restructuring plan.
     ''SBI Caps has sent a proposal to the banking regulator.
     "We see no reason for RBI to reject the proposal, as the regulator has in principle agreed the aviation sector needs support,'' he said.
Tirthankar Ghosh


Reason For Award
More Awarding

     By now, almost everyone in air cargo is accustomed to reading about or attending an awards ceremony where this question is raised:
     Why did they win?
     Well, in Germany Lufthansa Cargo’s “Quality Award Quarterly” has arrived.
     Lufthansa Cargo is taking names and keeping score to honor the customer who “distinguished himself to the highest standards of delivery supply.”
     And what are those standards?
     “Basic qualitative parameters considered, for example, are the adherence to the scope of delivery, punctuality or care in the handling,” says DLH.
     Expeditors International GmbH is Lufthansa Quality Award Quarterly Winner Q3 with a score of 92.49 percentage points.
     Runners up and only a "tiny bit behind" were EMO-Trans (92.04 percent) and Müller+Partner (91.74 percent).
     The winners at Expeditors International earned an invitation to an evening soiree befitting their impressive increase in performance during 2010.
     Since February 2010, the deciding measurement factors at Expeditors have jumped by almost 20 percent.
     At the award ceremony on the 27th of October in the MD-11 maintenance hangar at the Cargo City South Frankfurt, Jürgen Siebenrock, (right in photo) Director Area Management Germany for Lufthansa Cargo, praised Expeditors, lauding “the integral corporate culture of Expeditors International, where tangible values such as curiosity and a sense of humor play an important role.”
     “We want to improve continuously,” said Henrik Hedensio, (left in photo) Regional Vice President of Expeditors International.
     “This is a part of our corporate culture.”
     Later, Lufthansa Cargo, in addition to the prize-certificate, punctuated the event with a festive dinner, where Hedensio declared:
     “Expeditors is determined to remain on top.”
     Worth noting is that the race for winner of the Lufthansa Annual Quality ranking is yet to be determined, so stay tuned.


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     “Transporting animals requires the highest degree of care and special handling, from when we accepted Omega, the chimpanzee for carriage in Lebanon, right through to when we delivered Omega to the sanctuary in Sao Paulo,” insists Dave Gould, (pictured inset) Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo Operations Worldwide.
     "An operation like this can only go to plan with nothing less than total cooperation from everyone involved – from the team at Animals Lebanon to the captain of the aircraft to customs authorities to the cargo handlers.
     “It was a true joint effort from the outset and we are very proud to have played a role in delivering Omega to his new home."
     Omega flew main deck top shelf as Emirates SkyCargo delivered the chimpanzee in style to its new home in Sao Paulo.
     Omega, a sprightly 12-year old, departed Lebanon to a South American hideaway near Sao Paulo in Curitiba.
     “I especially enjoyed Emirates Animal Care Solution,” Omega told Air Cargo News FlyingTypers.
     “I boarded the plane in Lebanon and had a final wild ride all the way to Brazil.
     “What a scene.”
     “I mean, the aircraft was chock ‘o block with house pets, exotics and the world’s finest racehorses, all getting heaping servings of TLC & LAR (IATA Live Animal Regulations) from the first rate handling crew.
     “I am a city chimp, so I really don’t do much tree climbing or tricks of any sort anymore.
     “In fact, where I had once enjoyed lightly salted cashews and cocktails before dinner at eight whilst working in a Lebanese restaurant, doing chimp chump stuff like smoking cigarettes and blowing smoke rings in an underground zoo, now that I’m here in Brazil I realize that there is more to life than the glam club scene.”
     “There is still no licensing or regulating of zoos in Lebanon,” said Lana El-Khalil, President of Animals Lebanon, the organization that gave Omega a new life.
     “Animals Lebanon will continue to campaign to have conditions drastically improve or the zoos closed,” Lana El-Khalil said.


Frontier Airlines Goes Cargo Data IT

     Dallas, USA based Cargo Data Management (CDM) is installing and implementing a hosted, browser-based booking, tracking, and cargo revenue accounting system at Frontier Airlines as part of a three-year pact for the integrated cargo system.
     “Frontier Airlines will utilize Cargo Data Management’s browser-based cargo reservation and tracking system, and cargo revenue accounting system,”
CDM CEO W. Garner McNett told Air Cargo News FlyingTypers.
     “As part of the hosted service, Cargo Data Management is managing all of Frontier Airlines’ cargo data on an Oracle 10G database running on a Linux operating system at Cargo Data Management’s hosting facility in Dallas.
     “The browser-based booking and tracking system is available to all of Frontier’s employees and general sales agents who book and track freight on the Frontier system.
     “Anywhere there is an Internet connection, a Frontier employee or Frontier agent can use this system.”
     The arrangement is a “win-win for both sides,” explains Mr. McNett.
     “Frontier is the second-largest carrier at Denver International Airport, employing approximately 5,000 while serving approximately 70 cities in North America, Costa Rica and Mexico. Dallas-based Cargo Data Management is an industry leader in developing hosted integrated cargo systems and has been using electronic air waybills since 2003.


Contact! Talk To Geoffrey

RE: Call For CNS To Internationalize

Dear Geoffrey,

     Your contributor suggests that "an open forum for discussion is what CNS used to provide and that, at least on the surface, is all Mr. Evans expects". Far from it, my vision was and is the active use of existing platforms or associations to drive the industry agenda forward (networking is a useful by-product, but surely not the primary reason why busy executives fly halfway around the world to regularly meet at industry events).
     I am therefore delighted that TIACA, IATA, FIATA and GSF committed to form an industry advisory group facilitated by TIACA to present a single voice to worldwide regulatory authorities at the recent ACF in Amsterdam.
     This was the announcement to which I was looking forward, and which I actively encouraged through my personal participation in TIACA's Industry Affairs Committee.
     And like any such announcement, that was the easy part: the challenge lies ahead for the industry advisory group to turn word into action and make 2011 into a pivotal year in the evolution and maturation of our beloved industry.

Oliver Evans
Chief Cargo Officer
Swiss World Cargo

Dear Oliver,

      Thanks for your comments and for being a regular reader and contributor. Indeed, the newly formed TIACA/IATA/FIATA and GSF holds much promise.
     Perhaps it is better suited to represent the industry than IATA and CNS, which didn’t rise to the occasion.
     With your energetic support, this advisory body will have a full agenda to tackle.
     We will continue to watch with much interest.

Good wishes,

Dear Geoffrey,

      Although we do not see eye to eye on all issues you may be surprised on how many topics you have support from me on-in this air cargo business.
     IATA and TIACA are just two of them and I am delighted that you have given your views on IATA in FLYING TYPERS .
     Too many journalists in this business are just puppets and their bosses are only interested in the bottom line allowing our Italian friend to get away with screwing the customer !

Best wishes,
Ray Crane
Air Cargo Media Ltd.,


Air Cargo Loses A Tony

     A colleague of ours on the air cargo beat, Tony Carding, (pictured far left with Bernd Maresch, right) died Tuesday of cancer.
     Tony only lived to be 66, but in all those years he was a good guy and the prototype of the assignment editor—notepaper in hand while out in the cargo hangar, or on a boat, or at an industry trade show or garden party—he was always there.
     We were often together covering the same story, and later would meet at the local hotel watering hole, where we spent hours in relaxed conversation, continuing the press prayer meeting into the wee small hours or until they threw us out.
     Tony probably just lived life too hard but in the process he gained the edge of a great literate reporter, a legendary character straight out of central casting for the movie “The Front Page.”
     Tony was very well read but as mentioned he also took notes, all the time, whether covering story or just talking things out.
     I remember once at the Lufthansa Charter annual summer picnic in Darmstadt, Germany (an event that sadly has gone missing for past two years), Tony admired my camera and asked a lot of questions—on the bus from the hotel to the picnic, during the event, back on the bus, and into the bar where we sat and decompressed, he was busy asking a multitude of questions about my camera.
     Almost a year later, when we saw him he said:
     “Oh you still have your camera?” Tony reached into his pocket and promptly pulled out his notes from a year earlier and asked a few more questions.
     Heide Enfield, Head of Marketing & PR, Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency said, “I am very sad to lose Tony, he was such a kind soul and always fair, never had to be on guard with him because he would never write or do anything to hurt anyone.”
     There was an easy and true collegial air about Tony.
     Bernd Maresch, HANS MARS wrote, “I am shocked, even though we, your aircargo family, accompanied you with great sympathy and deep emotion especially over the last year: You were an institution, not only a great journalist but a great human being, multi-coloured and full of life. You actually were the first journalist who helped me with my very first media briefing at Swiss WorldCargo. And you did this with a human touch, giving me advice and encouraging me.
     “Tony, you leave a great gap in our common landscape. We deeply miss you.
     "And you leave a wave; a wave of sympathy that will carry us on, together both with and in your spirit. I offer my sincere condolences to your family and friends.”
     With Tony it was always about the story and being glad to see one another when we met.
     Our relationship was never competitive, but rather sweet and simple, gained out of professional respect for each other that grew to genuine friendship.
     He was the real deal—not flashy, never a showboat.
     In this business, it hurts like hell to lose a kindred spirit and good guy like Tony Carding.
     Keep 'em flying, Tony.



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