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   Vol. 14  No. 20
Friday March 6, 2015


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AEC Could Lift Indonesia
Could Indonesia be the big winner in the economic integration of South East Asia? Well, yes, but only if it implements a raft of new reforms to encourage private investment in infrastructure and to improve the flow of goods across borders.
     On entering Bali’s brand new, but frustratingly inefficient, Ngurah Rai International Airport after a flight from Singapore, there is a new immigration queue. It’s exclusively for use by nationals of the ten-member ASEAN bloc—Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This is the first tangible sign your correspondent has seen while touring South East Asia of the ASEAN Economic Community, which was originally due to be launched at the start of January but has now been delayed by a year.
Li Wen Jun     The thinking behind AEC is to create a cohesive single market for labor, goods, and services covering a combined population of more than 620 million—in effect Asia’s equivalent of the European Union. By opening borders and aligning customs duties, the AEC could attract huge amounts of investment by manufacturers and their logistics partners as they seek out new markets and centers for production. An open skies deal across the ASEAN region has not been fully signed off, but it is due to come into force later this year as part of the launch of AEC.
     “We are monitoring the progress of the AEC very closely, especially on the key pillar ‘Single Market and Production Base,’ including Open Skies and Free Flow of Goods,” said Li Wenjun, head of Air Freight in the Asia Pacific region at DHL Global Forwarding.
     “We regard the ASEAN market as an unpolished gem with plenty of opportunities and strongly believe that the AEC will allow ASEAN to fulfill its true potential. At the current stage of implementation for AEC, we see positive steps taken, including the Open Skies Agreement and customs system/process integration.
     “We expect the benefits of the AEC to come through in the next few years when the systems and processes become more mature and have stabilized.
     “Open skies in Asia Pacific will help the logistics industry in terms of capacity while we keep an open mind on its effects on respective countries and the economy at large.”
     In theory, Indonesia, with a population of 250 million and South East Asia’s largest economy, has most to gain from AEC and Open Skies. And its airlines such as Garuda and Lion Air have been among the most aggressive airlines in the world when it comes to placing new aircraft orders.

Views Of New Bali Airport

    One study by analysts at Mott MacDonald for the Indonesian government estimated that Open Skies would generate around 2.9 trillion Rupiah ($2.23 billion) in additional direct Gross Domestic Product and an additional 16,000 direct jobs by 2025. If indirect and induced effects were included, these differentials increased to around 6.3 trillion Rupiah and 29,000 jobs.
     But a liberalized air market in South East Asia would also see the Indonesian market opened up to Malaysia’s low cost carriers and Singapore’s well-funded airlines. And their regional rivals have also been investing in new planes. More critically, they have been opening something that Indonesia currently lacks—sufficient capacity. Changi Airport’s Terminal 4 will be ready in 2017 and a fifth terminal is scheduled for the middle of the next decade, while KLIA II is now also operational. The picture in Indonesia is rather different.
     In short, to realize the gains identified by Mott McDonald, Indonesia needs huge investment. Apart from lacking parking spots, runways, and terminals for the new airplanes hoping to soon operate in its airspace, pilots and skilled personnel are also in short supply.
     Indonesia’s ability to safely manage its air traffic is another issue of concern since the December 28 crash of AirAsia flight QZ8501, en route from Surabaya to Singapore, killed all 162 people on board.
     Another worry is that the Center for Aviation (CAPA) believes that Indonesia’s airline sector is over-regulated to such an extent that it questions whether it is equipped to thrive in a fully liberalized market. Earlier this year the Center called for more investment in infrastructure and less government involvement in the sector. CAPA also noted that the Indonesian aviation sector had undergone a doubling in size over the past five years, but growth slowed in 2014 with almost all airlines failing to turn a profit.
     David Buckby, a researcher at consultant Transport Intelligence who recently co-authored Ti’s ‘Indonesia Transport & Logistics 2015 – A New Dawn?’ report, said there had been investment in new passenger facilities and airport capacity at hubs including Jakarta, Bali, Medan, and Labuan Bajo/Komodo. But in many cases tender processes had lacked transparency and the results had been less than desirable. In some cases the new capacity had been entirely filled within months of opening.
     “What is clear is that Indonesia desperately needs more air capacity,” said Buckby. “Domestic and international cargo and passenger growth have been growing rapidly for the last decade, but infrastructure is a long way behind.”
     The new government of President Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi, has pledged to raise finance via public-private partnerships to build or upgrade ten regional airports. The old Halim Perdanakusuma city airport was also re-opened last year for domestic flights, has cargo capacity, and features distribution centers operated by DHL and UPS’ partner Cardig Logistics.
     Faith has also been placed in the aerotropolis concept. State-run airport operator P.T. Angkasa Pura II plans to use the concept to develop North Sumatra's Kuala Namu International Airport as an integrated facility tied to Belawan Port and Kuala Tanjung Port in a bid to spur economic growth and boost usage of nearby special economic zones.
     But plans for a second airport at Jakarta’s Soekarna-Hatta International Airport are moving forward very slowly.
     Buckby said international ground handlers were eyeing Indonesia’s burgeoning international and domestic freight markets with interest, but for the most part had kept their distance until the investment environment became more transparent.
     “Jokowi needs to make attracting investment and expertise a priority,” he added. “If he does not, then Indonesia might be left out while its regional rivals benefit from Open Skies and free trade.”
SkyKing



Karuna Sharma
   One fine day 19 years ago, Karuna Sharma suddenly found herself in the cargo industry. It was a move that she had never considered. The first few days were a learning experience for her, but Sharma has never looked back and would also never switch careers.
   Her simple reason: “This particular industry is the hub and spoke for all other major industries.” But there is another, more compelling motive why she would never quit air cargo: “Unlike ocean, air export is a fast-paced, quick-decisions industry, which requires quick thinking on the feet and this is what I love most about this particular field.”
   She did not find her surroundings alien—with so many males around—but one where she could learn the intricacies of the cargo industry. Today, she points out, “There is a perception that the cargo industry is a male-dominated one, but with the opening up of the economy and supply chain subjects becoming mainstream in colleges and universities, I have observed that more women have started to find employment in this field.”
   As Manager - Air Exports, Co-Load at UTi Worldwide, Sharma has specialized in client claims. On her air export team are members “who are DG qualified to handle such shipments.” Together they make a great team. In praises for her immediate work environment—where teamwork is encouraged—Sharma emphasizes the fact that the fairer sex has a major role to play in the movement of goods.
   “We are an equal opportunity organization [that] is purely merit-driven and it encourages lady employees to take on senior roles in the management,” she tells us, going further to mention that she is fortunate to work in an organization that espouses these very values: “therefore, I am very confident about my future.”
Tirthankar Ghosh

Chuckles For March 6, 2015

 

Awards

Get ready for this.
     Between February 20 and June 8th, no less than three publications and probably half a dozen more organizations will be dispensing air cargo industry awards at fancy bowtie affairs around the world.
     There are awards for everything, from Company of the Year to Person of the Year, from Most Influential to Lifetime Service. The awards will be handed out left and right by trade shows, industry organizations, and publications alike.
     The idea of recognizing and awarding exemplary effort is as old as organized business itself. But right now, handing out awards seems a bit over the top, if not downright inappropriate.
     For starters, there are too many awards.
     Awards have become moneymakers, especially for publications who can convince candidates to buy full-blown advertising programs that beggar readers to “Vote for us!”
     The amount of correspondence we are seeing from otherwise sensible, dedicated air cargo people, pleading for people to vote them best airport or best airlines would be laughable were it not so pathetic. The offenders know who they are.
     Forgetting everything else, does no one smell a scam?
     Advertising programs, event sponsorships, corporate tables at galas sold as part of an awards package—these reek of set-ups, in our humble opinion. My eldest daughter, a writer, likened it to the emails and letters she sometimes receives congratulating her on her inclusion in a new book, Best Poetry of [Insert Year], for which she need only provide $50-100 to receive a copy. That small fee covers inclusion in the book as well. The judge of what is the “best” poetry is the dispassionate, almighty dollar.
     It’s sort of like purchasing a star, which you can also do if you’re willing to fork over the cash.
     The guys on the street here in New York City call it a kickback, pure and simple.
     Hard working companies and people in air cargo don’t need that kind of grief at what should be a moment of encouragement, enlightenment, and reflection for a job well done. By and large, there is no clarity as to what are the criteria for a great number of the awards. The prerequisites for the vast majority of awards are totally nebulous. For example: Best Cargo Carrier of Europe, Best Cargo Carrier of the Middle East, Outstanding Cargo Carrier of Asia/Pacific, and so on.
     Between 2005 and now, air cargo was growing so fast that award overkill reduced credibility and increased the creation of award schemes. This led to a worldwide inflation of accolades that popped up like mushrooms in every corner of the planet. This grotesque proliferation of awards devalues and undermines those few awards that are based on thorough and scientific research.
     The best thing would be for the major and most respected cargo carriers to form a sort of informal alliance demanding that the number of awards be reduced to a comprehensible number, let’s say, four or five per year, honoring different transport and service categories and items along the entire supply chain
     In past rants about industry awards we have wondered why IATA or some other multinational and neutral body might not manage awards by initiating and conducting surveys in close cooperation with international airfreight and transport media.
     Instead, IATA, while still not in the awards loop, has acquiesced to another publication’s awards shindig during WCS. No doubt there is plenty of constructing thought out there when it comes to the giving and receiving of air cargo industry awards. A highly-placed air cargo executive who has requested anonymity thinks that maybe awards committees need to look a little closer when they go about the business of recognizing true winners:
     “We think too highly of our senior teams and not enough of the people making it happen every day at the terminals, sales offices, and GSA locations.
     “Air cargo needs to recognize the great job all of our people do to make this industry successful.
     “Maybe there should be some new award categories to include a broader spectrum of people and businesses.
     “There are plenty of other categories that could and should be considered outside of the aforementioned ‘narrow band’ of awards recipients as the industry gears up for the rest of 2015.”
     Another top executive in air cargo (unnamed) thinks awards should come in part from customers with some benchmarking:
     “Performance should be based on profitability and the views of our customers.
     “They should decide who is performing best and we should use more analytical methods to measure performance.”
     In the meantime, there is no doubt in our minds that the air cargo awards trend will continue.
     It will just be a matter of what the awards now mean for those who win them, considering they mean very little in the grand scheme of things.
Geoffrey Arend


A Landmark Series By Richard Malkin

Richar Malkin true Confessions
Richard Malkin
Click To Read

Jan Krems True Confession
Jan Krems
Click To Read

Dan Muscatello True ConfessionsDan Muscatello
Click To Read

 

Air Babies Book     We write about women in air cargo, about female aviators, and because we acknowledge women as consummate multi-taskers, we must remember to ask: what else can you do? What else do you do?
     Invariably, women in every industry perform several and various functions in order not to go ‘hysterical,’ a term loved dearly by detractors of feminists like Betty Friedan as it improperly classified and deflected from that general feeling of malaise suffered by so many women who were not put to good use beyond the home.
     As lovers of all things historical and otherwise, FlyingTypers recently came across an intriguing vintage image of two baby-faced planes rendered in bright primary colors, soaring through the sky against a tilted horizon and setting orange sun. When we say baby-faced, we don’t mean that euphemistically, as if the planes are just a few days old. The planes, quite literally, have baby faces—round, cherubic, ruddy-cheeked, with milk saucer eyes and gold-plaited hair. Stylistically it’s very reminiscent of the Max Fleischer cartoons of the 30s and 40s.
Elvy Kalep     The children’s book Air Babies was written and illustrated by a young woman named Elvy Kalep, and at first glance that statement seems like nothing special. But upon further examination and exploration, we realized that Kalep was not just or only a children’s book author—she was also an aviator. And not just any aviator, but the first female in Estonia to receive a pilot’s license, in 1931. A year later, in May 1932, Kalep traveled to the United States with the intention of flying back to Europe—essentially to attempt a solo transatlantic flight. Unbeknownst to her, another woman had her eye on that particular feat—Amelia Earhart. The two became friends, and Earhart performed the first solo transatlantic flight later that month, which put Kalep off of the idea as she would no longer be the first.
     Despite being one-upped, the two women became good friends, and Kalep joined Earhart in her endeavors to encourage women into the field of aviation, becoming a member of the famous Ninety-Nines. A few years later, in 1936, Elvy Kalep published Air Babies, a story of two young planes named ‘Happy Wings’ and ‘Speedy’ who wished to learn how to fly. Two years later, a reprint of Air Babies included the following foreword from her friend, Amelia Earhart:
     When last I surveyed the field of children’s aviation literature, I found very, very little indeed for the very young. Yet everyone in the industry knows this extremely youthful group is the most important of all the citizenry as concerns airplanes and air travel. They take both so entirely for granted that while they sometimes non-plus their complex-ridden elders, they are the pride and joy of “Aeronauts.”
     Authors have usually been content to talk down to these important people by preparing for them simplified tales of their older brothers’ and sisters’ air heroes. However, Miss Kalep has invented some winged characters with whom they should be much more at home than with the George Washingtons and Abe Lincolns of flying. She is a pilot herself, so her AIR BABIES commit none of the technical errors so revolting to well-informed children.
     May these two—AIR BABIES and CHILDREN—prove warm friends.

     Sadly, just three days after writing the above foreword, Amelia Earhart disappeared. Later, Kalep lamented the loss of her dear friend: “I miss her very much. When I heard that Amelia had disappeared, well, I fell apart.”
     Elvy Kalep would go on to design some children’s toys as well—one particular toy was called “Patsie Parachute.” Children could toss Patsie up in the air and watch her drift down to the ground just like a real parachutist.
     Elvy Kalep died in 1989 at the age of 90 in Lakeworth, Florida. Of her accomplishments, it should be enough to say that she was the first female pilot of Estonia—that alone is saying a lot. But Elvy Kalep was a classic female multitasker—she did the work of flying, but she also inspired the next generation of fliers. Essentially, Elvy is still working even today, sparking the imaginations of young aviators from the ochre pages of the vintage book, Air Babies.
Flossie Arend

Amelia Earhart, Elvy Kalep, Frances Marsalis and Betty Huyler GilliesSkating for a roller-derby fundraiser at Roosevelt Field, NY, circa 1933. (L-R) Amelia Earhart, Elvy Kalep, Frances Marsalis and Betty Huyler Gillies.
Amelia and group at derby fundraiser

Thanks to Gail Chumbley for the photograph above. For more on Elvy and Amelia click here

 

Brian Wilson Video

   It snowed again in New York City today.
   I looked out the window and thought:
   “I surrender,” but then remembered that we turn the clocks ahead to daylight savings time this coming Sunday, and Easter will be upon us in just a couple of weeks.
   I also thought about the big, fat, red cardinal that has sung in a tree in our backyard for several years. He was there today amidst the snow falling.
   I asked him, “Why are you here?”
   “I don’t know, it just feels right,” he replied.
   Then came this song from Brian Wilson and Alan Jardine, two men my age who are also still singing.
   I thought it best to share this with fellow indomitable spirits.
   Spring, like love, is just around the corner.
Geoffrey


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Vol. 14. No. 17
The Girl In The BIFA Halo
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Chuckles For February 23, 2015
Best In Show—FIATA Not Yada Yada Part II
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AfA Tops Next Week
Wish We Said That—Robin Finke
Calogi Rock Around The Dock
Chuckles For February 26, 2015
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