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Geoffrey FIATA Fellow
   Vol. 15  No. 53
Thursday July 14, 2016

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Cargo Powerhouse Easy As ABC

     Maybe it’s the water? While other European cargo carriers are running around like Henny Penny predicting the sky is falling, here comes Volga-Dnepr’s AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), lusty and larger than life, putting its money on the future. Parent company Volga-Dnepr Group has finalized terms for the acquisition of 20 747-8s through a mix of direct purchases and leasing over the next six years.
     The deal was closed inside the Boeing Chalet at Farnborough. A shiny, newly-delivered 747-8 freighter that was on display this week will soon depart for service with CargoLogicAir, the new British cargo airline and a partner of Volga-Dnepr Group.
CargoLogicAir
Puddle no muddle . . . Mother nature delivered a drenching opening Monday at Farnborough but afforded a CargoLogicAir B747-8 (a Volga-Dnepr partner airline) a reflective moment in a picture. Over the years dating back to the piston era, this has always been a photographer’s favorite view.
The Farnborough International Air Show continues though July 17.

 

Easy As ABC

     But that's how it goes with ABC, which has also moved to beat the China slowdown with new services and other enhancements. Just this month ABC has expanded with a weekly freighter service to Phnom Penh, Cambodia (effective July 5). ABC says the Phnom Penh route “accommodates trade lanes from Cambodia to Europe and the U.S., as well as complements its existing Singapore flights.”

View From The Americas

     Hendrik Falk is Vice President, North and South America, AirBridgeCargo.
     Mr. Falk said the vision for AirBridgeCargo “will continue the expansion of our global footprint—as we have been doing—into even more markets, in order to offer our customers an essentially complete portfolio of global service destinations.
      “For the longer term, I foresee that we will complement our global footprint with a comprehensive portfolio of services, designed to leverage our state of the art aircraft, industry expertise, operational and service quality into the ‘ultimate’ service offering for our customers.”

The American Dream

      “While we are expanding our services rapidly and adding new destinations in the Americas at a fast pace, our goals in the region are not necessarily market share driven.
      “Our aim is to be present in those markets in which we feel we can add value to our import and export customers, both in capacity but also with the quality of service we deliver.
      “So far, we serve Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and most recently Houston.”

 

Lots of Choices, Only One ABC

       “In using AirBridgeCargo, shippers benefit in any number of ways: 

  • Our on-time performance rivals the best in the industry—passenger and cargo—and is made possible by our modern fleet, rigorous maintenance programs, and also our performance-driven company culture.
  • Service and expertise: we are proud to work with our own ABC staff in almost all major markets, both on the service and operations side. This way, we ensure that we offer our customers the highest possible service level on a consistent basis, with strong operational supervision and support accompanying each shipment from time of quotation to time of delivery.
  • A responsive ‘can do’ culture: in recent years, ABC has undergone a cultural evolution to ensure that our responses to customers are fast, thorough, and reliable. Also, while we maintain a high level of schedule integrity, we have managed to develop in parallel a very flexible and solution-oriented approach in case we need to deviate from our ‘normal’ operation in order to service any extraordinary customer needs. For example, we increasingly operate charters, part-charters, or scheduled diversions in order to provide creative, effective, and affordable transport solutions to our global customer base.”

ABC Delivers The World

      “With our unprecedented rapid growth in recent years, some shippers may not be aware of the scope of service that ABC currently provides to the global air cargo market place. Here I refer to both the network, but also our quality and service capabilities (e.g. temperature sensitive transport, oversized cargo, and many other commodities with special requirements).”
     “Many people may still think of us as ‘that 747-freighter operator with flights to Russia,’ when in fact a vast majority of the cargo we move is flown among the major markets of the world: Asia, Europe, North America, and most recently also South Africa.
      “So I would encourage customers (current and prospective) to invest a bit of time to get to know us via their local ABC representatives, and provide us with an opportunity to work with them no matter what the nature of the cargo may be, and where it may need to travel.”

Priorities At ABC

      “Security is the highest priority for ABC, in fact rather than in word. The airline’s flight safety programme is implemented under its corporate policy of flight safety management and aviation accident prevention, based on ICAO's accident prevention manual and even stricter internal standards. The airline is an official IOSA Operator.
      “Another key focus for us is cargo safety. ABC ensures the highest levels of safety and security of cargo through its global network by coordination of activities with all parties involved in cargo delivery process, ensuring the correct packaging and palletizing, flights status updates, and shipment arrival notifications. At its Moscow hub our company has established its own aviation security and cargo safety services to ensure full control of all operations.
      “The importance of environmental issues is also obvious in practice, suffice to mention the company’s fleet strategy, with a focus on the young, modern, and efficient fleet of Boeing 747/8F.”

Hendrik Is Handy & All Cargo

     Hendrik Falk was born in Germany, but he grew up in Southern California and studied International Economics at UCLA.
     Having been born overseas to German/Austrian parents who did a fair share of travel and moving about during his younger years, Hendrik says he became intrigued with the idea of travel and decided very early in his life that he wanted to be involved in his professional career on an international stage somehow.
      “It was during my time at university that I took a summer job with a local freight forwarder, which then turned into a full time job upon graduation. From there, I was invited to join an international cargo airline for a position in Atlanta, which proved to be the launching pad for many interesting roles with various organizations around the world over the subsequent (almost) 30 years.”

That Dutch Touch

      “It was during my time at Polar Air Cargo in the early 2000s that I was fortunate to discover what is probably my favorite city—Amsterdam.
      “The architecture, the location along the water, the people, and the general ‘vibe’ in the city really spoke to me. The combination of bicycles, boats, trendiness, and tradition really creates a wonderful place to not only visit, but also to live.”
     Hendrik notes that his life is not only about work but also about realizing the balancing act for those moments he is not on the job:
      “I enjoy getting outdoors, practicing any number of sports from skiing to swimming, volleyball, going to the gym, or just going on long walks with my wife.
     “Also, I enjoy spending time listening to and playing music, often with good friends, and I find that this time really helps me recharge my batteries after a hectic week of travel, meetings, and industry events.”

The Biggest Surprise In Air Cargo

      “I continue to struggle—perhaps that qualifies as surprise—with the lack of consistent and coordinated innovation in our industry, a reference to both application of technology as well as process coordination across the industry.
      “Consider that we as an industry move some of the most advanced technology in the world for our customers, yet for decades have struggled in modernizing the way we go about our business.
      “Fortunately, there are a number of initiatives under way that are getting traction and revitalizing their approach (e.g. CargoIQ) in an effort to move past some of the traditional obstacles and finally chart some much needed progress on this front.
      “Global economic cycles have over recent years shown to be more volatile and more frequent than ever before.
     “Nevertheless, we continue to see a rapid expansion of capacity in the market place, some of it purposeful (e.g. expansion of freighter fleet) and some of it consequential (e.g. more capable passenger aircraft).
      “Given these variables and their impact on carrier’s yields and their respective bottom lines, a more prudent and risk-friendly approach to market presence should be the order of the day for the foreseeable future.

Looking Ahead Changing Partners

      “ABC will add 20 747-8 freighters to our fleet over the coming years.
      “However, in addition to expanding the fleet, our destination network, and related aspects of our business, we are also busy developing the underlying infrastructure, service portfolio, process definitions, and essentially every element of the business required to maintain quality while increasing quantity.
      “Some examples include: developing a highly refined product portfolio, including the operational and process underpinning—we have a dedicated team of specialists working on this.
      “As priority projects here we have identified products charters, temperature sensitive transport, oversize and special loads.
      “We are also focusing on industries, the aerospace industry, among others.
      “In order to access new markets for us, we have also recently partnered with a new, UK-based airline, CargoLogic Air (CLA), with whom we have initiated service between Europe and Africa and with whom we are reviewing the addition of a number of other new markets at this time.
      “We have also been working on our company’s third party maintenance capabilities and now offer other airline MRO services in several locations around the world: Leipzig, Sharjah, in addition to Moscow, of course.”
Geoffrey


Chuckles For July 14, 2016

Brian Doyle
   Brian Doyle, an AA Cargo Fleet Crew Chief based in Los Angeles, California, is riding upstairs on Page 10 of July 2016 issue of American Way Magazine.
   “Precious Cargo” is a short, informative look at American Cargo from a 30-year veteran, who insists “it’s important that the items our customers ship with us make it to their destination on time and in excellent condition.”
   Brian also points out the impact Los Angeles has on the carrier, with new destinations and the burgeoning movement of small animals, pharma, fashion, and flowers.
   “Those of us ‘below the wing’ are working hard to make sure the freight our customers entrust us with is handled with the utmost care,” Brian assures.
   An undeniable “tour de force” is happening all this month as a cargo veteran holds court in every seat and on every flight aboard American Airlines worldwide.
Geoffrey


Volga B747 Order Siging

From Russia With Love . . . Why Is This Man Smiling? Boeing's Ray Conner (left) knows that the venerable B747 will stay in business as Alexey Isaikin of Volga-Dnepr Group goes public with the commemorative certificates confirming long-term logistics support and an order for 20 747-8 Freighters. The certificates were signed at The Farnborough International Airshow.

Air Cargo News 40th Anniversary Issue



CNS Field Of Dreams

      Now we are in the gone-fishing, lazy, hazy days of summer, and a voice rises from the baseball movie Field of Dreams that whispers:
      “If you build it, they will come.”
      Cargo Network Services (CNS) has just announced an air cargo conference for early October, calling it the “U.S. Air Cargo Industry Affairs Summit” (USACIA). It will be held in Washington, DC, October 3-5, 2016.
      CNS President Lionel Van Der Walt writes:
      “CNS has joined forces with eight notable Industry Associations to bring attendees from across the nation’s supply chain to meet face-to-face with key government officials.
      “Executives of the trade involved in government compliance and regulatory affairs will have the forum to discuss important issues and showcase the positive impact air cargo has for the United States.
      “Our Association partners include Airforwarders Association (AFA), Airlines for America (A4A), Cargo Airline Association (CAA), Express Association of America (EAA), Express Delivery & Logistics Association (XLA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), National Customs Broker and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), and The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA),” Mr. Van Der Walt said.

Information Please

      OK, so new CNS President Lionel does not sit still and is out shaking things up amongst the industry icons.
      First out of the block was the CNS Partnership Conference in Nashville this past May, which was generally regarded as a success.
      That was followed by an announcement of a “CNS Innovation & Technology Conference” that was supposed to take place in Dallas, Texas, June 27-28.
      However, without any warning, a posting on the CNS website now states:
      “This event has been postponed. New dates and details will be posted soon.”
      So before you say, “who needs another trade show?” take a deep breath. For those inclined to Oktoberfest in DC, here is an address to get some more specific event details and the agenda:
      http://www.cnsc.net/events/Pages/usacia-2016.aspx

Lots of Luck

      While wishing CNS well with what appears at first look to be a sincere attempt, we also gently wonder, why the rush?
      CNS, which counts freight forwarders as a major part of “The CNS Partnership,” has in fact scheduled an event for the same timeframe as FIATA. The world organization of freight forwarders is holding their Annual World Congress and 90th Anniversary Celebration in Dublin, Ireland.
      Looking over the list of supporters of USACIA, Airforwarder President Brandon Fried is not active with FIATA and headquarters AfA in Washington (as does Airlines for America), so we suppose it makes some sense to add voices to their lobbying efforts on behalf of transportation.

Election Year Event

      2016 is also an election year in America.
      Maybe that has something to do with securing various government department heads or their lieutenants as speakers, but as of right now most speakers at the first USACIA event are listed as “invited.”
      Beyond all of that, with all due respect, we must cast a weathered eye as to what is to be believed from a politician or outgoing head of department given that it will be one month before the national elections. How can we be sure it’s not about maintaining their legacy?
      We can only hope that USACIA works and perhaps offers a breakthrough moment at one or more of the sessions. We will of course provide event updates as they occur.
Geoffrey


Subscription Ad

Feeling Brendan Gill

“You feel, in New York City, the energy coming up out of the sidewalks, you know that you are in the midst of something tremendous, and if something tremendous hasn't yet happened, it's just about to happen,” said the great writer and New Yorker Brendan Gill.
     Gill reported “The City” for The New Yorker magazine, and for a time during the 1980s all but lived in Grand Central Station, where he was the driving force whipping everyone into a preservationist frenzy until the great train station was saved and on its way toward restoration.
     Brendan Gill died in 1997, but the memory of this most gracious and patient man—a real “Mohair Sam” figure—came back to me whilst visiting Zurich in March to accept the honor of FIATA Fellow from the great world organization of freight forwarders.
     We were trying to save LaGuardia Airport’s Marine Air Terminal back in 1978 and figured Gill might have some ideas, so we visited him in the small offices he kept in the late 1970s, upstairs at Grand Central Station, just down the hall from The Manhattan Club.

Brendan Gill and Jackie Onassis

     We drank some tea—it was summer, and mighty hot—but Mr. Gill was cool as a cucumber in a faded beige wash-and-wear cotton suit and a sharp bow tie.
     I showed him my outline concept for saving the Marine Air Terminal, and he graciously said:
     “You have it son—I would not change a thing.”
     Then, I suppose sensing my angst, he added:
     “Just be patient, I have lots of famous people, including Jackie Kennedy, on our side to save this train station, but you cannot hurry things.
     “Just dig the hole from the middle and watch the sides cave in,” Mr. Gill smiled.
Geoffrey At the Marine Air Terminal     So listened to Brendan Gill and we stayed in, and he saved Grand Central Station and we saved the Marine Air Terminal.
     Any time I can get there, I sit in the fabulous Oyster Bar in the basement of Grand Central and have an oyster pan roast or some blue points and remember the magical Brendan Gill.
     The redevelopment and restoration of the entire Grand Central Station area, including the revamp of the old Commodore Hotel and loss of the exquisite Airlines Terminal (Park & 42nd) and The Biltmore Hotel, took many hundreds of millions of dollars and many people to accomplish.
     But to my memory no other person looms larger in all of it than Brendan Gill.
     Brendan Gill was involved with the New York City Municipal Arts Society, he wrote poetry, fiction, and nonfiction books, and he used to say:
     “I can hardly wait to get up in the morning to write.”
     He was the best kind of guy; he always loved the city and wanted to make it better.
     Speaking of the Commodore Hotel, which became a Hyatt Hotel, it should be remembered that Donald Trump revamped the property—an early indicator that Trump and the development of Manhattan real estate would become inexorably linked.
     Interestingly, as he worked with “The Donald” on the Grand Central project 30+ years ago, Brendan wrote the following:
Summer Fun      “Grand Central now looks better than it has ever looked in my lifetime, and I'm very optimistic about that really becoming what the original designers had intended it to be.
     “And I see that even Donald Trump's hotel is going to get another redoing.
     “Every so often I find myself, to my horror, forgiving Donald Trump.
     “Ah! What a strange emotion that is.”
     In 2016, as Mr. Trump closes in on the Republican nomination for President of United States, we can only wonder what Brendan would have written.
     Ah, Brendan.
Geoffrey


If You Missed Any Of The Previous 3 Issues Of FlyingTypers
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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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