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   Vol. 19 No. 25
Tuesday March 24, 2020
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Sign Of The Times

     In Turin, Italy, a sign tells it like it is as unprecedented restrictions are enforced to halt the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
     The number of new infections in Italy declined again on March 23 for the second day in a row.
     This is the first symptom something is changing; it is not yet a positive trend, but the light of hope is timidly shining.
     English translation of Italian text reads:
     “Use gloves and mask for your safety, sanitizer for your hands.”

Logistics Delivers Hope To The World

(Turin March 24)
If you like classical music and dignified entertainment in Italy, you surely and regularly listen to Radio3.
     Each morning at 08:00 Radio3 opens its microphones to the public to call in and voice their concerns or ask questions, which a different journalist addresses every week.
     What follows is more or less what I told Federico Fubini, a particularly distinguished journalist working for Corriere della Sera, this morning (March 24):
     “My name is Marco. I now live in Turin after a life spent in logistics, before my retirement from FIATA, the international association that gives a voice to all logistics operators.”

Recognition For Logistics

     “On March 19th I wrote to our Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, asking him to note the indispensable role of logistics serving hospitals, pharmacies, supermarkets, and all the frontline enterprises considered ‘essential’ in his decree, then adopted on Monday 23rd.
     “I was asking for recognition, nothing else. Logistics workers must feel that they are appreciated and supported.”

The China Card

     “In 2011, I was invited to listen to President Xi Jinping speaking on international trade at the Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.
     “If memory holds, Pres. Xi cited logistics five times in half an hour, underlining its crucial importance for life and progress—something surprising for European ears.”

Logistics Delivers Hope To The World

     “Logistics operators work hard to allow for our lifestyle and well-being; logistics works silently, mostly unnoticed by politicians. In this colossal crisis caused by the pandemic, there are doctors and nurses who are trying to save our lives on the front line with great self-sacrifice: there are no words sufficient enough to describe the debt of gratitude we owe them.”

Modern Day Heroes

     “Alongside these modern-day heroes, there are women and men working in logistics, employed in essential production and services: women and men essential for our lives at all times and in particular in these dire moments.
     “They should be given their admiration by their industry and also be given the commendation of the community at large. Far from the spotlight, they nevertheless ensure our resilience and survival.”

Stand Up & Be Counted

     “This is the time for all of us to serve our common goal, confident that those who helped most at this time will not be forgotten when we have put this perilous time behind us.”

The Pandemic Today In Italy

     “Many of the readers know what Italy is going through and some look at our predicament with a mixture of fear and denial—the same fear and denial we ourselves displayed just one month ago.
     “We are not all dead, most of us here are fighting the virus and looking forward to helping those who will suffer after us in the future.
     “Yesterday Italy even managed to send an earthquake relief unit to Croatia and that is a sign we shall never give up, even in times of trouble.
     “This is a time when the world feels what it means to be one planet—the only one there is.”

No Holiday From Reality

     “Many compare today’s pandemic with the Spanish Flu of 1918 or the plague in the middle ages. Those pandemics were probably even worse, but they were not so vividly portrayed in front of everyone’s eyes as this one is. The question of whether the deluge of information we handle today is good or bad depends on how you look at it. As with everything else, it depends on what you want to do with it. If one is fascinated by disaster news and negative comments, as some of us are unfortunately disseminating, we should not forget that while you are busy spreading misinformation intentionally or unintentionally, the deaths still continue. The severe loss of life make you realize the extreme importance of the truth.”

Call To Arms Worldwide

     “If you work in logistics, in air, rail, road, or waterborne transport, please do all that you can to ensure that your fellow citizens manage to live as safe and sound as materially possible. When this problem is over, we shall rejoice together and throw those parties that today are forbidden or impossible.
     “If you have nothing essential or vital to do, please stay at home and help the nurses and doctors who desperately need your inaction to see those ruthless epidemic numbers go down.”
Marco Sorgetti—Turin, March 24th 2020

World Needs Air Cargo

Hell Or High Water Cargo Flies

Jan Krems“Connecting products to people around the world is the United Cargo mission,” said Jan Krems, United Cargo President.
     “That role has never been more crucial than during the current crisis.
     “Our team is working around the clock to provide innovative solutions for our customers and support the global community.
     “Getting critical goods into the hands of the businesses and people who need them most is extremely important right now.
     “To support customers, employees and the global economy, we will initially operate a schedule of 40 cargo charters each week targeting international destinations and will continue to seek additional opportunities.
     “The first of these freight-only flights departed on March 19 from Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) with the cargo hold completely full, with more than 29,000 lbs. of goods," Jan Krems declared.

Enter The Ghost Airlines

     The China COVID-19 pandemic that exited Wuhan and blanketed the Earth causing unbelievable pain and suffering almost everywhere, has for the airline industry brought one important point front and center. No matter what else happens, come hell or high water, air cargo always flies.
     Just when you might have thought there is no way ahead, the air cargo industry proves once again, down is not out.
     Now comes a new era, albeit short-lived of passenger aircraft carrying freight only.
     Suddenly everybody is in the air cargo charter business!
     But cargo people have always said that their B777s (the 200s especially) were ‘secret freighters’.
     Add those volumetric underbellies of A350s and A330s that can also lift some weight and everyone has the possibility to benefit from what should be premium rates for uplift here and there right now.


All Cargo Virgin Territory

     Suddenly, air cargo people who have always focused on the aircraft hold are now being refocused on the main deck as charter takes over during the pandemic.

Dominic Kennedy in Virgin Cockpit

     On Saturday March 21, Virgin Managing Director Cargo Dominic Kennedy was in the cat-bird seat as pilots (left) Captain Steve Wrigley and First Officer James Bennett ready a VS698 for push back from Heathrow to New York with eleven pallets in the hold.
     “I must say, standing out on the ramp at an eerily quiet Heathrow today really brought home to me the scale of what’s happening here—and added to my feeling of immense pride as I watched our inaugural cargo-only charter get airborne, knowing the aircraft would have otherwise been sat on the ground if not for the herculean effort of our cargo team in making this happen, especially at such short notice and in these challenging times,” Dom declared.

Not All Beer & Skittles

Bill Boesch     But it isn’t all beer and skittles, as TIACA Hall Of Fame and acknowledged air cargo pioneer Bill Boesch, former President of American Airlines points out.
     Bill, who put AA air cargo on the map of the world during his tenure as President of AA Cargo during the 1980s, tells FlyingTypers exclusively:
     “The bottom line is a matter of weight and balances.
     “No passenger weight on the upper deck changes the dynamics of the distribution in weight.
     “So, say you can at most carry 40K in the belly.
     “At $1.5/kg you would lose money or break even.
     “Most of Europe has now waived the ‘use it or lose it’ slot rules like the UK did, so the U.S. carriers don’t need to fly to protect their slots.
     “But flying aircraft at break even affords a lot of benefits to the carrier versus the cost of parking aircraft and caring for them while parked.
     “Keeping an airplane flying allows it to return to line service again quickly when this current shutdown is over.
     ”Now as we enter the era of the ‘Ghost Freighters’, make no mistake, if the yield is there, ghost flights driving use and some revenue is better than parking aircraft out in the desert,” Bill Boesch said.

Cargo Airlift Germany Returns

Carsten Spohr     “We will do everything to maintain the supply chains,” said Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa.
     Carsten, you might remember, went from the left seat to the top position at Lufthansa Cargo to CEO of the entire airline group.
     “We are working full steam on an air bridge for the whole of Germany,” Carsten proclaimed.
     Right now, we can only wonder why Lufthansa dumped its always-profitable, always-classy Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency a few years ago in 2013.
     Anybody who ever worked with LCCA chief Christian Fink or with Heide Enfield, Volker Dunkake, Andrew Morch and some others, can attest that this was indeed one of the finest specialist groups ever assembled in the history of air cargo.

Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency
Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency also hosted some really wonderful, not-easily-forgotten summer parties for its business partners, held at different locations, including the Vivarium, a beautiful park and children’s zoo from the 1920s located in Darmstadt.
Aside from being great business people, Lufthansa Cargo Charter was also known for its support of charitable causes such as Mothers’ Mercy Home, an orphanage in Kianjogu just outside Nairobi, which is part of the Lufthansa Cargo’s ‘Cargo Human Care’ (CHC) project.

     Right now, that Lufthansa Cargo Charter group of people who today have been scattered to posts everywhere else might have been able, at Tante Ju, to stand up and fill up the bellies of what’s left in the air for the entire airline.

AA Cargo SteaksSaving Some Slots

     Using Pax aircraft for cargo only, makes some sense.
     Now that American Airlines will operate cargo only on its airplanes since it dumped freighters 40 years ago, the bellies of a B-B777 moved between Dallas and Frankfurt on March 21.
     Maybe the first of many, but in any case AA is sending out an appeal, in a move to fill up the bellies of what is left of its narrow body domestic fleet.
     We wonder if they will bring back their reefer meat containers from the 1970s when they operated freighters?
     We sure hope so.

The Skies Are Alive With Charters

     Delta Airlines is flogging cargo only flights aboard its rather small number of passenger A350 and B777 aircraft.
     But apparently as you read this, the first Delta Cargo Charter is yet to take wing.
     Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, which have slashed capacity by 96% across their passenger network in April and May is maintaining its freighter network and putting as much cargo as possible on its bare bones, three flights a week to 12 destinations-Pax offering during the time frame.
     Over at IAG, CEO Willie Walsh proclaimed:
     “Our intention is to try and keep as much of our capacity available for critical supplies that need to be shipped around the world.”
      Korean Air said that it will operate belly-hold cargo only flights to Qingdao beginning on March 21.

Vietnam & India A Choice Move?

     Meantime speaking of cargo traffic movements, it might be useful to look for a moment all the way back to February 10th when sixty-four percent of the logistics industry shakers & movers surveyed for the 2020 Agility Emerging Markets Logistics Index said that “a recession is likely in the next 12 months.”
     Only 12% of the 780 respondents said a recession was unlikely.
     But here’s the thing, the Agility Index also found that seventy percent of those with operations and investments in China said that they will stay put, but if they were to move production or sourcing from China, that Vietnam and India were the top choices of places to relocate.

Things To Come?

     Now that China has changed the game of life as most of us on this planet know it, wonder what that survey would say, barely one month later?
     Interestingly the last and at this point possibly the final industry trade show for 2020 (although we hope not) was held during February when Air Cargo India met in Mumbai.

FlyingTalkers podcastTune in to
Air Cargo Pandemic: The Italian Forwarders
EMO Trans Open Worldwide

EMO Trans Open For Business

     As the COVID-19 pandemic story continues to unfold, EMO Trans said that the global company is stepping up to find solutions and keeping business moving for the stability of the global economy.
     “EMO Trans is fully operational, and we are all in this together,” declared Joachim ‘Jo’ Frigger, EMO Trans Chairman.
     “We have implemented a 50/50 remote work schedule in which 50% of staff is in the office and 50% are working remotely and alternating days for social distancing. “However, every employee is working each day and available by phone or email.
     “We are conducting frequent internal communications with all global staff to keep everyone abreast of the situation and safety measures.”

Private Company Public Trust

     “EMO Trans is proud to be a financially stable company,” Jo Frigger said.
     “We do not have bank loans and our cash flow is not dependent on the stock market,” Jo points up.
     “We are working hard to keep customers’ supply chains protected and flowing, by searching for solutions to move their freight.
     “Thankfully, all of our offices are reporting that their staff are healthy, safe, and fully operational,” Jo Frigger declared.

Shelter In Place Issues

     “Every day, and sometimes by the hour, we have to make decisions to adapt to the ever-changing business climate.
     “At this time, we are aware of ‘shelter in place’ orders for non-essential business in several states and municipalities and anticipate others to follow as we try to contain COVID-19.”

EMO Trans An Essential Business

     “The Government has established that transportation is considered an essential business to keep the nation supplied with the necessities of life.
     “Be assured that EMO Trans put into place our business continuity plan to abide by these guidelines ahead of the new restrictions and are prepared to continue handling your shipment activity.”

The Pledge

     “We continue to keep our service partners and potential new customers informed and updated as we receive new information @,” Jo Frigger assures.

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