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   Vol. 19 No. 19
Thursday March 5, 2020

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Donald Trump, Oscar Munoz, Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, Doug Parker and Gary Kelly
President Donald Trump with, from left, United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz, Vice President Mike Pence, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly, during a coronavirus briefing with Airline CEOs in the Roosevelt Room at the White House, Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Washington.

     Yesterday, March 4, major United States airline chief executive officers met with President Donald Trump in the White House to discuss measures taken in coordination with the government to protect the flying public.
     From American Airlines' Doug Parker to Southwest Airlines' Gary Kelly, the words voiced concern for everyone’s safety and the action each carrier is taking as apprehension around air travel mounts in the U.S. and around the world.
     “We’ve stepped up our efforts to make sure the airplanes are clean and disinfected, and we work very closely with the CDC, and I think that’s gone very, very well,” Gary Kelly said.
     “We’ve got the proper protocols in place whenever there is a suspected illness, and I think all that is working very well.
     “I think everybody is doing a great job and doing all they can,” Gary Kelly said.
     Brad Tilton, CEO of Alaska noted:
     “I think, like all the folks around the table, the focus of the airline leadership teams is the safety of our employees and the safety of our customers.
     “I think all of us have made a lot of changes to our cleaning procedures, changes to our onboard procedures—to gloves, sanitation, the service that our flight attendants are providing our customers.
     “And we’re trying to do everything we can to help — help everyone contain the virus and contain the spread of it,” Brad Tilton said.
     But it was United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz who captured the emotion and commitment everyone felt while speaking to President Trump.
     “I’ll take a different angle, just because a lot of it has been said,” Oscar Munoz declared softly.
     “I started my whole conversation here before you came in: The safety and health of our customers and our employees are the topmost. We (United Airlines) will cooperate and collaborate with everything.
     “I think — as I look through this from a personal lens—I’m a heart transplant survivor.
I am, if you think of the poster child for the individual that could be affected by this, I am it.
I’m over the age and I have a compromised immune system. And so, that’s the task we take at United about making our planes safe. We’re exploring all the different ideas and aspects that we can to ensure that our planes are as safe as possible.
     “From the ask perspective, anything that continues to project stability, calm, and — Dr. Birx, with regards to behavior, we’ve invented the ‘corona bump’ at United, where you’ll see us all bumping each other.”
     “It may sound silly, but it’s a fun way of expressing what I think we all need to know — is be careful for the next few weeks as we control this; that we adapt our behavior so that indeed we can continue to stay safe.”
     Then Oscar Munoz looked at President Trump and said:
     “So thank you for everything and for having us.”
     President Trump leaned back a bit and replied:
     “And that’s right: You are a heart transplant survivor.”
     Oscar Munoz replied: “Yes, sir.”
Oscar Munoz     President Trump smiled, looked at Oscar Munoz and then around the room and said:
     “I was reading about that. He’s one of the big executives, great executives of our country, of the world. And you’re a heart transplant — I tell you, you look very good to me, Oscar!” to which the room broke out in laughter.
     Oscar Munoz smiled and replied:
     “I don’t recommend it.”
     President Trump smiled again, and said, “You have that one down! Don’t recommend it!” the President said and again in this very serious moment there was laughter.
     “But you,” The President continued, “that’s a fantastic story. Wow, that’s great. Thank you very much, Oscar,” President Trump concluded.
     All these important airline people met inside the Roosevelt Room at the most sacred building in the U.S. with the most powerful person in the world, and they were able to make their case indelibly because Oscar Munoz spoke from the heart. His immunity may be compromised, but his inner strength, tenacity, and sincerity surely are not.

chuckles for March 5, 2020

Dan Muscatello

“Although the threat presented by the virus and the potential near and long-term implications for air cargo and airports are still largely undetermined, if the disease proceeds along the course predicted by health experts, the aviation industry needs to consider several potential impacts,” said Dan Muscatello, long time air cargo airport executive.
     For 40 years, Dan has been one of the industry’s leading experts in air cargo, land use, and strategic planning. He’s just about seen it all. Looking over the current airport situation around the world, Dan spoke to FlyingTypers in an exclusive interview.

Dan The Man

     Dan was one of the founding members of the Air Cargo Committee (then Sub-Committee) in 1990-1991. He has remained active and a leader with the Committee since then.
     He is currently co-writing as well as editing the Air Cargo Guide, the original version of which he helped create in 1995.

No Two Airports Alike

     “Not every airport will be affected the same way, but a great many airports will see some changes and should be prepared to address them.
     “Passenger load factors will drop both domestically and internationally, opening up belly capacity that airlines will look to fill with cargo whenever possible to help cover costs.
     “Some domestic flights with marginal financial feasibility may be suspended. Internationally, we are already seeing the cancellation of passenger flights to a number of virus-impacted destinations, which shifts greater volumes to freighters.
      “The changes to routing and volumes on international flights may have an impact on staffing capability and shift coverage for government agencies.”

Dan & Bran

     “Recently Brandon Fried, Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association and I discussed how forwarders might be impacted and how they are responding to the growing crisis.
     “Changes in routing will be inevitable as the industry seeks creative solutions, but the emergence of these new or expanded transshipment centers may create price increases based on demand.
     “It may also be the case that these new centers change as the virus proliferates and/or the industry devises more efficient and cost-effective logistics chains.

Airports & Changing Landscape

     “Moving forward, retail buying patterns will shift even further away from brick and mortar as consumers shy away from malls and turn to e-commerce for a much broader array of products.
     “For airports, this can create a number of capacity issues over the near term.
     “Facilities that have been sized and developed based on traditional cargo forecasts, may prove to be challenged with an unanticipated influx of volumes.
     “E-commerce is about trucking as much as it is about aircraft.
     “Airports will need to ensure that there is adequate roadway and queuing capacity, as well as bay access to keep things flowing smoothly.
     “The increase in freighter activity, particularly at e-commerce focused and international airports will also present challenges for aircraft ramp utilization.
     “Many of the capacity issues can be addressed through more effective management and communications, but for some airports new infrastructure may be required.

Pressure on Airports After The Fall

     “Overall,” Dan Muscatello predicts, “in many instances, during 2020 airport revenues will fall.
     “Reduced revenues from landing fees, PFC’s, fuel flowage fees, as well as parking and retail sales in the terminals will more than likely decline.
     “Depending on potential changes to cargo routings, airport percentages on cargo handling fees may drop as well.
     “The result will be additional pressure on many airports to develop new sources of revenue to compensate for the potential losses.”

The New Reality

     “One thing I learned in my years spent in New York, is to respect what I call the ‘subway strike phenomenon.’
     “In the event of a strike and the resultant loss of a major transportation element, commuters adapted to cars, buses, ferries, and any other mode that worked to ensure that business carried on.
     “When the strike was settled, there was always a percentage of people who determined that they would not go back to the subway and stuck with their new transport mode.
     “The longer the virus disrupts the air cargo industry, the greater the propensity will be for at least some permanent change that will be beneficial for some airports and regions, and less so for others.
     “In any event, it appears as though 2020 will be a year of challenges and change,” Dan Muscatello assures.
     After heading cargo operations for the Port Authority of NY and NJ, Dan Muscatello worked as a private developer of air cargo facilities, overseeing the planning and coordination of multi-firm consulting teams on large-scale domestic and international projects.
     In total, he has planned more than 20 million square feet of air cargo facilities at airports all over the world, including large air logistics parks for major gateway airports.
     Dan now heads his own company where he continues his work in cargo and land use development, strategically integrating on and off airport planning to help airports grow revenue and regional jobs through new and dynamic business models.

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FIATA Cancels Annual Zurich Session

Don Lewis

There are awards that are just as rewarding for us to read about or watch because of the winner.
     Case in point is Don Lewis.
     Here he is, bib overalls and all, in front of the big rig he drives from his home in Republic, Missouri, to points nationwide for Wilson Logistics, of Springfield, Missouri.
     His video acceptance speech (48 seconds) is a beautifully concise thing. It tells beyond words why he won and also how to accept any award.
     Click on photo above or here to listen.
     Don was honored last week at the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) Annual Convention in Orlando.
red bandana     He will also undoubtedly get his picture into Truckload Magazine and will become a truckstop celebrity.
     In 1976, Lewis started his career as a professional truck driver. Today, he has nearly 6 million accident-free miles, 2.6 million with his 18 wheelers’ tires singing down the highway for Wilson Logistics.
     We will give you ten to one that Don also has a bright red bandana handkerchief in his back pocket.
     Truly right!

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Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
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