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Geoffrey FIATA Fellow
   Vol. 15  No. 47
Monday June 20, 2016

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News for June 13, 2016Air Cargo News For June 20, 2016

Lufthansa Cutbacks Tip Of The Iceberg

Flying Typers Exclusive—News headlining the woes of Lufthansa recently has detailed one challenge after the other for the past 18 months as share prices for the airline have suffered.
     For the past 18 months, Lufthansa’s woes have littered the news with one challenge after another, and as a result share prices for the airline have suffered.
     Lufthansa has been the target of almost non-stop strikes and walkouts. The catastrophic crash of a Germanwings airplane (now Eurowings, the daughter of Lufthansa) due to a mentally unstable pilot didn’t help matters.
     Last year brought the longest strike (7 days) in Lufthansa's six decades.
     Add to that unsettling and recurring executive turnovers, including several defections to other airlines and industries (most notably Simone Menne, who suddenly and without warning left her job as the airline CFO earlier this month), and cryptic announcements by the airline, and the result is a shared concern about the long-term vitality of Lufthansa Cargo.
     As everyone learned that Lufthansa Cargo would axe 800 jobs out of a workforce of 4,600 in September, the unspoken fear is that these layoffs may just be the tip of the iceberg.
     FlyingTypers spoke to people close to the action who shared some views under cover of anonymity.
     “It is highly unlikely that even with the labor cutbacks announced, Lufthansa Cargo will continue in its current form,” said a source close to the airline.
     “Financial gymnastics can only take you so far.
     “And one more rebooting program floated out to the market will not suffice,” the source added.
     Lufthansa Cargo’s austerity program tagged C40 aims to reduce spending on personnel and services by €40 million annually.
     The source continued, “Lucky if C40, based on the reaction of the market, doesn’t end up like runaway C4, blowing up after what may be changing too little, too late, at Lufthansa Cargo.
     “Long term, Lufthansa Cargo needs a sustainable business plan that recognizes market conditions, and that could include, for example, moving away from the big freighter fleet, especially the MD11Fs,” the source added.
     “They (Lufthansa) apparently have not come to that moment of truth just yet.
     “Lufthansa Cargo should also consider that immersing itself into a string of joint ventures, alliances, and shared services everywhere—while saving money—could also have the net result of a loss of identity.
     “The recent open hostility between Air France and KLM should be warning enough that once things go south, it is near impossible to ever get back the cache of greatness that once surrounded a service as esteemed and well regarded as Lufthansa Cargo,” the source said.
     Some others are even less positive.

Iceberg

     A GSA in FRA told FlyingTypers:
     “Forget the once famous Lufthansa Cargo standard and training—that doesn’t exist anymore.
     “Just compare service levels and customer experience with the competition today, and have a good, hard look at how much money per employee these other players spend and what they expect.”
     FlyingTypers also spoke to current and retired Lufthansa Cargo employees and most confirmed the rough gist of the aforementioned statements.
     One retired source said, “Lufthansa threw the baby out with the bath water.
     “Part of the cost-cutting programs included sending the ‘know how’ into early retirement because they wanted to get rid of the long-time staff with higher salaries.
     “They replaced them with less experienced and lower salaried newcomers who then tried to reinvent the wheel, as all the expertise was gone.
     “Also handling was outsourced to handling agents with little or no quality control.
     The source continued, “You cannot win if you only apply cost-cutting measures but never put into place workable plans to increase sales, customer service, and quality.”
     “Many of the people who developed our standards and procedures and who had formerly been with German Cargo when Lufthansa acquired that company are long gone,” another source said.
     “The pride in our brand and reputation has diminished, and with the latest round of layoffs it will be difficult for Lufthansa management to get any form of contribution or cooperation from employees at all, especially after Lufthansa announced on May 13 that they want to terminate protection for long-time employees.
     “After all, why should we work for a better future at Lufthansa Cargo if we have none?
     “If management continues this way, Lufthansa Cargo’s days are numbered,” the source said.
     FlyingTypers leaves the last word to a major multi-modal international freight forwarder, who said of Lufthansa:
     “Any service provider who replaces their dedicated, committed, long-term workforce with outside rented people is doomed and will lose loyal customers as well as a loyal workforce.
     “Ground personnel for an airline is as important as the flying teams.
     “Lufthansa is doing this for cost saving reasons—on the cargo as well as passenger side— but it is a slippery slope, and if it isn’t stopped, the downturn will gain speed to the point of no return.
     “But I’m sure the boys with the corner offices have it all figured out and will float on top of any disaster,” the forwarder concluded.
Geoffrey


Chuckles For June 20, 2016

ULDs Ain't Just Cans Anymore

For years industry action group ULD Care has preached the gospel insisting that unit loading devices (ULDs), or “cans,” get little to no respect.
Bob Rogers and Urs Wiesendanger      When it comes to ULDs, there a few outstanding people—like Bob Rogers from Nordisk known for his drastic and knowledgeable presentations delivered at industry meetings such as the IATA WCS and the TIACA ACF—who have dedicated their professional lives to raising awareness about the ‘unknown entity ULD.’ They have played a pivotal role in spreading the word. Urs Wiesendanger from Air Canada, who also serves as president of the organization ULD Care, is another stand-up stalwart for better understanding of best practices in ULDs.
     One inescapable fact is that while in the past ULD Training requirements were more often than not perfunctorily ‘satisfied’ by subjecting BUP Buildup staff to computer-based training in the English language (no matter if the attending staff was actually capable of speaking at least basic English), that practice is now raising red flags in airline cargo departments—and rightfully so.
     Loading ULDs requires qualified and trained staff, as only dedicated staff aware of the industry requirements will load a ULD not only in compliance with applicable safety and security requirements, but also to insure that the load will arrive in the impeccable state in which it left the production facilities.
     The latter, at least for shippers of pharmaceuticals, is the ultimate goal and the only one that counts.
     While ULD Care efforts have been noteworthy and can take credit for several advances, perhaps their greatest achievement is lifting visibility and concern amongst “the great unwashed,” our endearment for everybody else with an agenda in air cargo.
     Now comes an effort from Helsinki, Finland-based Airport College, a web-based, educational effort that offers an increasingly large catalogue of courses and is the brainchild of ex Finnair Cargo manager, Pertti Mero.

Pertti Mero

     “ULDs are essential to the air transportation business,” Pertti said.
     “Every year, the total cost of both repair and loss of ULDs is estimated at about $300 million, excluding flight delays and cancelations due to their unavailability.
     “Although ULDs are required to ensure the safe and reliable restraint of cargo, baggage, and mail during a flight, the standards for using them vary widely across the industry. The right ULD must be available in the right place at the right time in the right conditions.
     “Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
     “Just like any other aircraft component, ULDs are regulated to ensure flight safety under all circumstances.
     “These rules are defined by governing bodies like ICAO and IATA and put into national legislation by each Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
     “Operational personnel involved in ULD operations require regular training on topics relevant to their job tasks and responsibilities outlined in the IATA ULD Regulations (ULDR) for standards and procedures covering the handling, restraint, and maintenance of ULDs.
     “Airport College can help airlines, ground handling agents, and logistic service providers meet new ULD handling standards with our accessible, cost- effective ULD Handling e-learning course.

AirportCollege at Haaga-HeliaAirportCollege at Haaga-Helia:  (From left)—Pertti Mero, Airport College; Kati Naumanen, Anne Koppatz and Reija Anckar, The Haaga-Helia University; and Teemu Patala, Airport College.

     “Across a widening spectrum of services essential to the airline business, Airport College is an effective, reliable and affordable ready-to-use menu of e-Learning services,” Pertti insists.
     A quick look at AC’s website confirms a dozen and a half online courses from ground handling to pharma, “and the list,” Pertti notes, “is growing!”
     Recently, Airport College partnered with Sharaf Aviation Services Academy in the United Arab Emirates.
     “The idea is to combine e-Learning and traditional classroom training for aviation and logistics,” Pertti said.
     “We are also partnering with The Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Porvoo Campus.
     “Haaga-Helia now offers AirportCollege.com online eLearning courses for their new Aviation Business Bachelor Degree Program,” Pertti said.
     More: www.airportcollege.com. Airport College International Ltd., WTC Helsinki Airport, Vantaa 01530 Finland.
Geoffrey


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Qatar Talks To The Animals

   Qatar Airways Cargo chief Ulrich Ogiermann (l) is pictured with Qatar Airways Cargo Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Peter Penseel. They were at Air Cargo China in Shanghai last week to unveil a big new trade show stand and talk to the press.
   Uli revealed:
   “In 2017, we will target areas such as Transpacific, Australia, and South America—do not be surprised if you see us becoming a strong player in all these markets in the next nine months.”
   Inside Qatar Airways Cargo's impressive and well-appointed new multi- level trade show headquarters, Mr. Ogiermann talked to the animals.
   “Our great new service ‘QR Live’ talks and takes care of the animals by providing a stress-free and comfortable experience; handling the transportation of horses, pets, exotic animals, and livestock,” Uli said.
   “Supported by our state-of-the-art cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport, QR Live delivers a fully-equipped live animal facility and a team of experienced ground and animal handling staff.
   “Special features include large holding areas for horses, eight stalls for horses (300cm x 300cm each), a 24/7 dedicated expert animal health care service, a large paddock area, rubber pavers for soft walk area, hydraulic loading and unloading docks, and hydraulic workstations.”
Geoffrey



Air Cargo News 40th Anniversary Issue

 


Strawberry Solstice

   Today June 20 the heavenly bodies seem to have conspired to sweeten the pot with an event we haven’t seen in 70 years.
   The summer solstice isn’t a rare event, a full moon even less so. But they’re both special, and when they just so happen to occur on the same day, as they will this year? That’s once-in-a-lifetime special.
   The 2016 North American summer solstice happens on June 20, 2016 at 6:34 PM EDT. That’s the very moment when, essentially, the sun stands still at its northernmost point as seen from Earth. Its zenith doesn’t yearn north or south, but waits patiently at the Tropic of Cancer before switching directions and heading south again. This is where the word solstice comes from; the Latin solstitium, from sol (sun) and stitium (to stop).
   It’s the day of the year with the most sunlight, the grand dame of long summer days. Even though technically it is only the first day of summer, it may actually be the best one of all.
   In New York City, we will have a whopping 15.05 hours of daytime. (You can check your day length at the Farmer’s Almanac sunrise and sunset calculator, if you’re so inclined.)
   The summer solstice alone is iconic enough. It’s a day with a time-honored history rife with pagan celebrations and all things Stonehenge. But this year we get the big beautiful bonus of a full moon, which hits its peak on the same day. This hasn’t happened in 70 years.
   “Having a full moon land smack on the solstice is a truly rare event,” says Farmer’s Almanac astronomer Bob Berman. “We probably won’t push people off pyramids like the Mayans did, but Slooh [a live-streaming global network of telescopes] will very much celebrate this extraordinary day of light with fascinating factoids and amazing live telescope feeds.”
   Meanwhile, adding a touch of poetry to the whole shebang, the June moon was known as the Strawberry Moon to early Native American tribes, who measured time by things like the moon, rather than a grid on a piece of paper or an electronic device. The full moon that happened now marked the season of strawberries – as it still does. More and more people have started harkening back to these more-seasonal full moon names; it's an especially lovely practice.
   Meanwhile, Slooh along with the Farmer's Almanac will have a live broadcast of the summer solstice/strawberry moon one-two punch from their flagship observatory at the Institute of Astrophysics in the Canary Islands.
   You can view it here … or better yet, go outside, gaze up and pay homage to the heavens above.
By www.treehugger.com


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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend Managing Editor-Flossie Arend
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