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   Vol. 16 No. 58
Thursday July 20, 2017

Who Has The Numbers

     As FlyingTypers went to press, a startling 11.3 percent year-on-year growth in exports recorded by China in June caught most analysts off-guard. Following the acceleration—led by exports of electronics and high-tech products to the EU, U.S., and Japan—HSBC predicted “stronger global demand will support export growth [from China] in the coming quarters.”
      Indeed, the export outlook is bright across Asia. Certainly, the latest Purchasing Manager Index readings suggest solid demand in the coming months.
Frederic Neumann      “After a couple of months of fizzle, exports are again showing some sizzle,” said HSBC economist Frederic Neumann. “Across Asia, with the lone exception of Korea, new export orders expanded [in June]. Possibly, we are catching the early part of the iPhone production ramp-up.
      “It’s all consistent with a fairly decent summer.”
      The good news on forward demand comes hot on the heels of a positive May. Although Drewry’s East-West Airfreight Price Index dropped by 3.1 percent month-on-month due to lower rates on Asia to North America lanes, the index was still 5.3 percent higher in May 2017 than a year earlier. Drewry believes this indicates “strong underlying market fundamentals” and expects “airfreight rates to rebound in June.”
      WorldACD recorded a year-on-year increase in chargeable weight of 12.8 percent in May and concluded “macro-economic indicators seem to hint that the present situation looks fairly robust.”
      The air freight analyst said growth in e-commerce may be one factor explaining the surge in cargo witnessed since the second half of 2016. “Yet, we do not see this trend reflected in large increases in express air cargo,” added WorldACD. “We note the largest growth in regular shipments weighing more than 1,000 kilograms, a clear sign that most e-commerce finds the regular speed of air cargo good enough, and that e-commerce is definitely not a matter of individual small parcels flying across the globe.”
      The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) also said volumes remained buoyant in May. Asian carriers saw international air cargo demand, as measured in freight ton kilometer (FTKs), register a solid 12.2 percent year-on-year increase, while the average international freight load factor also rose significantly, by 4.7 percentage points to 65.6 percent, following a comparatively modest 4.3 percent expansion in offered freight capacity.
      IATA’s latest figures revealed that global air cargo demand, also measured in FTKs, grew 12.7 percent year-on-year in May 2017. Significantly, this was up from the 8.7 percent annual growth recorded in April 2017 and was more than three times higher than the five-year average growth rate of 3.8 percent.
      IATA took the view that the continued expansion of air freight demand was consistent with an improvement in world trade and new global export order readings, which remained close to six-year highs in May. However, IATA warned that there were signs that the cyclical growth period may now have peaked. “The global inventory-to-sales ratio, for example, has started rising,” said IATA. “This indicates the period when companies look to re-stock inventories quickly, which often gives air cargo a boost, has ended.
      “Regardless of these developments, the outlook for air freight is optimistic with demand expected to grow at a robust rate of 8 percent during Q3 2017.”
      IATA noted the element of downside demand risk in Q3, which was also borne out by the June survey results for the APAC Forwarding Index produced by Mike King & Associates and Logistics Trends & Insights LLC.  This revealed that the 3-month air freight outlook took a downward turn in June with only 22.6 percent of survey respondents anticipating ‘higher’ volumes in the next three months. 38 percent indicated ‘lower’ volumes while 39.4 percent anticipated the ‘same’ volumes.
      “In the next three months there will be growth in air cargo, but we expect rates to be flat,” said one respondent.

Qatar Milks Airlift

  Moutaz Al Khayyat believes that you never outgrow your need for milk.
  So the entrepreneur and chairman of Qatari construction firm Power International Holding initiated the move to airlift Holstein dairy cows from Baladna Livestock Production in Budapest to a purpose-built dairy farm near Doha that has capacity for 4,000 animals to help provide fresh milk during the recent ongoing rift between Qatar and the Gulf Arab Allies.
  Baladna reports the bovine airlift will continue with dairy cow imports being readied from USA, Germany and Australia.

Chuckles for July 3, 2014

Club News

  Top pick for July is Federation of Asia Pacific Air Cargo Associations (FAPAA) meeting later this month July 26-28th in beautiful Kathmandu Nepal for its 44th Executive Council Meeting (ECM).
  Hosted by Nepal Freight Forwarders Association meetings will be held in the Soaltee Crowne Plaza
  FAPAA event will also feature 23rd Nepal Air Cargo day July 29.

   In Los Angeles still time to join the LAACA on Thursday, July 20th, 2017 for a “Summer Mixer” baseball game between the L.A. Dodgers & Atlanta Braves! Group seating at the stadium and snacks and beverages served on exclusive LAACA bus on route to the game.
  Bus departs from Trans Pak (5343 W Imperial Hwy #1000, Los Angeles, CA 90045) promptly at 5:15pm…
  LAACA also has its Golf Tournament
set for September 12th, 2017 at El Dorado Golf Course in Long Beach.

Levi Roots   The British International Freight Association will feature celebrity host entrepreneur and musician Levi Roots at its 29th annual “BIFA Awards” ceremony in London held Thursday January 18, 2018.

  Atlanta Air Cargo Association (AACA) again meets in its remote summer program for Top Golf—a night event August 15, "a networking event for those who like to have a little fun, while getting to know industry contacts.”
  Cost is $45 for members/$55 for non-members.
  That nominal tariff includes face time with all your best cargo friends (and some new ones) plus two hours of playtime at the golf bays, the choice of 2 domestic beers or one mixed drink, plus light hors d'oeuvres.
  Register before August 1st, 2017 and deduct $5 with your RSVP
  All registration closes Friday August 11th.

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Amelia Endures At 80

     Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared somewhere between Australia and Howland Island on their attempt to fly around the world 80 years ago on July 2, 1937.
     It seems the fateful flight is recalled on every anniversary of the event, and somebody always has a different theory on what actually happened.
     For the record, Ms. Earhart was married to the publisher George Putnam, a publicity expert that trumped AE as a great aviator. The massive publicity campaign was devised as the “All-American” distaff answer to Charles Lindbergh.
     Of course, Amelia was brave and beautiful, but she most definitely was no Lindbergh—or Beryl Markham, for that matter—in terms of native and developed aviation skills.
     So while TV shows and other media outlets this month drummed up interest once again, in the ongoing “What really happened to AE?” enigma, we recall what our reporter, friend, and ex-Boston Globe aviation editor, the late Art Riley wrote in 1978 in our sister publication Air Cargo News.
Art was alive in 1937 when AE & Fred went missing.
     He also followed the story for years and finally concluding that Amelia—while talented in many ways—lacked some essential aviation skills. To top it off, Fred, the one time Pan American World Airways navigator who plotted a course for The China Clipper and other immortal first flights across the oceans, had a drinking problem.
     Art became convinced that despite all “the blurry sightings” of one or two of the duo in reports that continued to pop up after the disappearance, AE and Fred had simply flown their tiny Lockheed 10 until it ran out gas and was swallowed up by the giant Pacific Ocean.
     In truth, even in 2017 we find little wrong in the romantic story of Amelia Earhart.
     As we see it, her biggest problem is that she came up just a little short of land.
     Since that time in 1937, the public has been on a flight of fancy when it comes to AE and Fred.
     What a romantic and still invigorating and evervescent story!
     Here our editor, Flossie Arend, offers a hauntingly beautiful take on the last flight of Amelia Earhart.

Dreams And False Alarms

     I can remember, when I was very little, paging through one of the airport books my father had written and seeing a picture of a young woman standing next to a small airplane. I think I noticed her because, like me, she had very short hair—at the time, my older brother and I received our haircuts from our father’s barber, so my hair never grew past my ears. She was tall and lithe, possessing a gamine beauty I found enthrallingly relatable. I liked her smart bomber hat with its insectile goggles, her unruly, moppish hair, the ease in which she existed in a tight, cropped leather jacket and buoyant riding pants. There is a relaxed confidence and serenity in pictures of Amelia Earhart. For someone with everything to prove, she projects an air of having absolutely nothing to prove at all.
Smithsonian Cover      The cover of the January issue of Smithsonian Magazine features a gorgeously monochrome Amelia Earhart, and boasts “New Clues, New Controversy” regarding her disappearance. Again, Amelia appears calmly angelic in whitewashed tones of cream and grey and charcoal, and I can’t help but wonder if our fascination with her isn’t simply because she was the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, but because every portrait of her projects a dreamy, subdued quality, as if we’re catching someone not meant to be frozen in film. Her knowing look beguiles us. I challenge anyone to look at her picture and not read a chilling intelligence and sadness in those eyes—she looks as if she knew what was coming.
     The Smithsonian article vacillates between the believable and the utterly fantastic. A man named Ric Gillespie harbors a sheet of aluminum he claims originated from Earhart’s Lockheed Electra. The sheet was found in 1991 on Gardner Island in the Pacific Ocean, and Ric and his wife, who founded TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery) are convinced it belongs to Earhart’s Lockheed Electra—a replacement piece for a window in the right rear fuselage. They believe Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, crash-landed on Gardner Island. The only problem with this narrative is that, according to Smithsonian Magazine, “Navy planes searched the four-mile-long Gardner Island on July 9 without seeing Earhart.” Still, Ric Gillespie’s theory would fall under the ‘believable’ category.
Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan      Other, less savory, theories abound.
     A retired Pan Am navigator named Paul Rafford Jr., author of Amelia Earhart’s Radio, believes Earhart was working for the U.S. government (specifically, the Navy) and purposefully got lost so that the Navy would have an excuse to search the Pacific without raising any eyebrows amid the rising tensions there. There are other theories that involve Japan. According to Smithsonian Magazine, “In July 1944, Army Sgt. Thomas E. Devine arrived on the just-liberated island of Saipan. At the airfield, he met some Marines guarding a closed hangar they said contained Earhart’s plane.” Sgt. Devine claims he later saw the Electra fly over the island, and that it was later “destroyed by U.S. soldiers.” He believes “Earhart and Noonan flew there by mistake, were captured, imprisoned and executed as spies.”
     There are a few theories that involve Earhart and Noonan’s being captured: “after failing to make landfall at Howland, [they would have] turned northwest” and crashed “760 miles away in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.” The theory has been accepted as fact in the Marshall Islands: in 1987, the Marshall Islands issued a set of stamps detailing her flight and crash-landing at Mili Atoll. Sgt. Devine’s theory was picked up by Mike Campbell, who wrote Amelia Earhart: The Truth At Last. Amelia Earhart     Campbell believes Earhart and Noonan landed in the Marshalls in 1937 and were taken to Saipan, where they were likely executed as spies. He also believes we’ve all been fed a pack of lies in order to protect the reputation of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who knew where Earhart was “but didn’t want to risk a confrontation with Japan.” In an email to Smithsonian Magazine, Campbell wrote, “Roosevelt could never have survived public knowledge that he failed to help America’s No. 1 aviatrix of the Golden Age of Aviation.”
     Whatever happened to Amelia Earhart, our fascination with her disappearance continues. For Dorothy Cochrane, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, the obsession is enough to drive a person mad. “Now that she’s long gone, why are people holding on to this?” she asked Smithsonian Magazine.
     I can’t speak for all the treasure hunters, conspiracy theorists, historians, and others interested in finding Amelia, but for myself, there is something almost unnatural in how naturally she vanished. One of the most bizarre theories about her disappearance assumes that she survived the war and lived out the rest of her days as a woman in New Jersey named Irene Bolam. We seem to want to revive her in some way—she survived, and lived fully in New Jersey; she was forgotten by one of our most beloved Presidents, and perhaps if we debase him, we can exhume her; she slipped away into the Pacific Ocean, and if we reach deep enough we might raise her up from the watery depths of obscurity.
Flossie Arend Byline     For as long as I can remember, when the night gets very deep and dark, and the lights have been turned down in our home in Queens, and a fire in the hearth sends the scent of earthy wood careening across Cunningham Park, adjacent to our home, my father will put on Joni Mitchell’s watery dreamscape, “Amelia.” It’s a song that sounds like flying—it’s full of the hollow airiness of sound that accompanies flight, the soporific din of air passing over fuselage. But it also feels aqueous, as if Mitchell recorded it under water, or at least sang it while bobbing over passive waves at sea. Wherever Amelia Earhart may be, I take comfort in how much of her I find in that song, and those lyrics. She may elude us in every picture, but she can still be found in certain small spaces, if we look hard.
                         “A ghost of aviation
                         She was swallowed by the sky
                         Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly
                         Like Icarus ascending
                         On beautiful foolish arms
                         Amelia, it was just a false alarm.”

Joni Mitchell song


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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