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   Vol. 19 No. 24
Friday March 20, 2020
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The World United

     President Trump designated last Sunday, March 15, a National Day of Prayer for everyone in the path of COVID-19.
     Here, we share our prayers for you.
     If there is one thing apparent as the corona pandemic rampages around our planet, it is that when it comes to the next chapter in all of our lives, we will all need to depend on each other, like it or not.
     The coronavirus has delivered an important lesson for all of us. Mankind does not get a free pass from suffering, and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
     When you think about it, there are always any number of challenges to us on Earth, but which challenges can or should we embrace?
     Sitting here in America, a month ago our hearts went out to the tens of millions of brave people in China suffering terribly under an unjust gangster regime as COVID-19 mowed down people without mercy in Wuhan & Hubei Province, an area roughly the size of France.
     The tears had not even dried when Japan, Korea, and Italy were struck by the virus and the rest of Europe went on high alert.
     Now as the pandemic tsunami closes in on the Americas, we see that even the giant barrier of oceans cannot protect us from the fate of the rest of the world
     Right now, the most powerful nation in the history of the world is in total lockdown, with business at a complete standstill while the government grapples with next steps.
     Our beloved airline industry has been brought to its knees financially, with airlines offering many pilots and other employees unpaid leave and early retirement.
     The change in lives and fortunes is both sudden and draconian.
     The transition from hero to zero occurred in a matter of weeks.
     No doubt there will be many opinions advanced as to what we should do next.
     We don’t pretend to have the answers, but we are dedicated to the idea that the best of who we are and what we can be as an air cargo industry is in your hands dear reader.
     As someone who is privileged to have been born and raised in the United States of America and later had the honor to serve my country as a soldier during the Vietnam War, today, a half a century later, I recall how a generation of millions of Americans from Haight-Ashbury to New York helped bring that war to an end.

The World United

     Listening to the music recorded around the world is a prayer, something important to share at this time.
     We can only wish that the music of The World United will be received in the hopeful spirit in which it was recorded.
     Right now, our prayer is to deliver comfort and hope to people suffering during this particularly tough and tragic time.
     If you have any words you’d like to share, any of your own playlists you’d like us to help distribute, or other content that has helped you navigate this difficult time, please share them with us. Air Cargo News FlyingTypers hopes to be like an online hearth for our cargo family. Gather around—it’s less lonely here.

Basil Pietersen

     “I know what you want to ask me,” Basil Pietersen, President of FIATA smiled, “you wonder if our FIATA Annual World Congress will take place in Busan, Korea October 19-24?
     “At this point in time I am not able to answer your question definitively.
     “That said, expectation that the pandemic will importantly slow down by the summer is grounded on solid science and seems to work in our favor.
     “What remains to be seen is whether the ability to travel for FIATA will resume to normal by the summer.”

New President New Era

     Basil Pietersen was named FIATA President last October when FIATA held its big annual World Congress in Cape Town.
     That Congress from all reports was among the biggest, most successful events in FIATA’s 94-year history.
     Basil is the first FIATA President from South Africa and the third from the continent to achieve this position since FIATA’s foundation in 1926.
     As usual, Mr. Pietersen was generous and open as we spoke. Asked what his view was on our business’s ability to deal with COVID-19, a gigantic challenge to say the least, his statements were characteristically direct and always right from the heart.

First A Soliloquy For Italians

     “Marco,” Basil said softly, “you are speaking to me from Italy, the country that so far has taken the highest per-capita toll of this pandemic.
     “I have great respect for the Italians’ reactions that we have seen in the news: orderly shopping, improvised, touching music from your terraces and a spirit that will surely help your country out of this terrible crisis.
     “I am impressed by the way Italy is able to successfully treat such a huge number of infected persons and take such a terrible strain on the health system.
     “I pray most countries’ health systems can do the same.”

The China Rebound

     “China was extraordinary in avoiding an unprecedented toll of historical proportions and we can only hope the same pattern will apply elsewhere in the world.
     “I am reassured on the numbers in South Korea, which seemed to have been able to contain the infection rather effectively and (to say it once again at this point) remains the destination of our next World Congress in October.”

Continuing Operations

     “We know that charter flights are being employed to assist in the vanishing belly hold capacity of passenger flights that have been cancelled.
     “This has serious impact on our business and the evolving picture is not clear yet.      “Airlines have so far been caught by the rapid spread of the infection in particular in Europe.
     “In Europe, we have seen a resurrection of borders, which everyone thought were history and I am pleased to hear that the EU institution are urging member states to abstain from segregating their territories.”

COVID-19 & Fake News

     “We all know,” FIATA President Basil Pietersen said, “that the virus knows no borders and does not need a passport to travel.
     “It is essential that logistics in Europe and in the world is maintained at a reasonable level of efficiency to avoid shortages of biblical proportions.
     “Everyone is called upon to show wise behaviour, thoughtful statements and confidence in our science.
     “We have heard so much fake news, my view is that we should not waste too much time trying to establish whether it is actually true or not: we should merely ask ourselves whether any suggested practice is either damaging or dangerous.
     “If it is either or both, then we should drop it, if not, the risk of trying it is minimal and we should do it.”

Change Is Going Forward

     “This would be my approach.
     “I am more than persuaded that our industry will change dramatically as will trade in general, but I am afraid it is a bit too early to draw a picture of the changes our industry will go through in the next months and years,” Basil Pietersen declared.

Forwarders Adapt Play It By Ear

     Basil Pietersen lays it on the line:
     “This is an industry that constantly evolves and adapts, so I am not concerned that we shall have to play it by ear for a little while.
     “The role that FIATA can play in these troubled waters is pivotal, but we were already on the front line of changes in a way.”

Onward To Remote Training

     Talk about thinking not in or out of the box, Basil Pietersen reveals:
     “FIATA is actually marching on to a vocational training program’ revolution and we stand in the middle of re-arranging all our work to a so far untested remote mode paradigm.
     “My colleagues and I are fully committed to make this transition possible and I am sure a new FIATA will emerge out of this, more agile, more resilient and knowledgeable than ever.”

New Era Of Expansive Thinking

     “Urged by the circumstances,” FIATA President continued, “I think our
companies will be slightly less conservative than in the past.
     “Much depends on the financial options that our industry, as well as trade and commerce in general will be given.
     “There is no easy fix for this protracted slow down.”

Determination To Prevail

     Finally, President Pietersen declared, “I want to share this thought:
     “I have one certainty in all of this, the only thing that is greater than the confusion all around, is our determination to prevail and this will help us through the storm.”
Marco Sorgetti
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Fred Smith

  FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith is confident his company is capable of handling increased demand for its international express delivery services.
  He was also upbeat about China's recovery from COVID-19 saying “China is up and running again and there are increasing backlogs.”
  Mr. Smith also said that out of the 900 plus people Big Purple employs in Wuhan, China “only four contracted the virus and all have recovered.
  “We see some opportunities in markets where belly lift has halted,” he said.
  “On some routes that are suspended, we are also customers,” he added.
  Mr. Smith says he expects the U.S. Government will step up and help American flag carriers “and also our great airplane manufacturer, Boeing.
  “For the last couple of weeks we have seen increased demand from Asia.
  “We have strong demand for FedEx Ground here in the U.S,” and pointing to the FedEx hookup with Walmart adding, “especially home delivery, and even the commercial volumes have been quite stable.”
  The company reported strong revenue but a sharp drop in profit during the quarter that ended February 29.
  FedEx said it earned $315 million in the latest quarter, a drop of 57% from the same period a year earlier.
  The quarter was affected by a weaker global economy, higher costs by expanding its FedEx Ground deliveries in the U.S. to seven days a week, a shift by customers to cheaper services, and last year's cutoff of business with Amazon.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Vol. 19 No. 21
Trump Bans European Flights
Latin American Cargo Surges
Pandemic No Italian Panic
Cargo Events Feel Force Of Pandemic

FT031620Vol. 19 No. 22
Virgin Moves As Pandemic Deepens
Whatever It Takes
Donna Mullins—Ten Outstanding Women In My Life
Scoot Cargo Into China

FT031720Vol. 19 No. 23
CNS April Partnership Cancelled

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend

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