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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 20 No. 11
Monday March 22, 2021
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Qatar Cargo

Akbar Al BakerQatar Airways Cargo, in case you missed it, was already the largest cargo carrier by FTKs in in the world of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
     But QR was not about to lean back and rest on its laurels, rather management in Doha doubled-down as the carrier became fastest out of the gate as COVID-19 smacked the airline industry square in the jaw a year ago.
     Qatar Airways was a one of the first carriers to convert passenger aircraft into full freighter operations and now, this carrier has gone from shining star of the Middle East to Superstar of the World rising to become the world’s leading cargo carrier with a global market share of 8.95% in January 2021
     In January speaking at a CAPA webinar QR Qatar Airways’ CEO Akbar Al Baker declared that Qatar Airways intends to “reserve all the routes it had introduced before the pandemic”.
     Mr. Al Baker told CAPA that the airline’s current cargo position would reduce somewhat, once passenger-specific aircraft deployment starts again. For the record QR operates 30 freighters, and still has aircraft to add to the fleet.

Domination Within Reach

     “Qatar Airways wants to be a dominant player in the cargo business,” Akbar Al Baker told CAPA, adding “airlines learned from us how to convert passenger aircraft into freighters.”
     Result is that during January 2021, 61% of QR’s cargo capacity was aboard dedicated freighters, with 39% on passenger aircraft.

Day In Doha

Guillaume Halleux     “It’s really busy right now,” declared Head of Cargo Guillaume Halleux.
     As the web screen brightened, there sat Guillaume in front of a curved window-wall that revealed a glimpse of traffic and commerce streaming along a busy roadway this day in Doha.
     Guillaume gazed down a long sheet of paper at more than a dozen web meetings he had organized for this day in early March 2021.
     He sighed wistfully :
     ”The days are filled with meetings but we are making great progress as we move inexorably toward our goal of being the top international air cargo resource of the world.”
     Guillaume is a Frenchman, who decades prior began his air cargo career from a split hangar in London that Air France operated, half full of Concorde parts and the other half full of air cargo.
     Only Guillaume, who has since served as an expatriate air cargo builder in several posts around the world, as he began his climb, was working nuts and bolts inventory for the Concorde SST section of that hangar in London, where eventually he became fascinated with air cargo.

The Lady Taught Air Cargo

     It is International Women’s Day 2021 and Guillaume recalls the friendly lady manager at AF Cargo that took him under her wing a long time ago and shared some of her knowledge of the air cargo business. She taught him that for every difficult decision to make, he should always ask himself : “what if this was your own money?”.
     Guillaume was inspired, and the rest as is said is history.
     This Women’s International Month with nearly half of his team still working remotely from home Guillaume laughs at the suggestion that perhaps the underutilized water cooler in headquarters might be retrofitted under a party circumstance as a Pastis station to celebrate the empowering and ever-growing presence of woman that populate the team up and down the line at Qatar Cargo.
     “For International Women’s Day, we did have some cakes and celebrations here,” he smiled.

Easy Going Guillaume

     There is an easy quick smile and graciousness about Guillaume Halleux.
     But there is also passion, determination and commitment to be completely transparent and available to almost anyone connected as a team member or customer of Qatar Cargo.
     Given the rise of digitalization as a key pillar of QR Cargo strategy and Corporate Social Responsibility meant to lift everybody, Guillaume says right away:
     “We want to help and reach out to those in need of aid and who require support.
     “Qatar Airways will be working to develop extending our offering via our new partner, webcargo by Freightos,” he said.
     “Our committment to our WeQare program that brings the true sense of caring and community from air cargo to the world will continue this year,” Guillaume declared.
     “Innovation up and down the line is also key on the agenda with strong focus on utilizing technology and data analytics to enhance customer experience and business efficiency.
     “Technology enables us to continuously scale and manage the rapid growth within a short-time frame.
     “The innovation theme supports the drive to attract new and fresh talent into a traditional business but with the right platform to take the big leap into Industry 4.0.

Giant Digital Leap

     In terms of enhancing partnerships, freight forwarders worldwide increasingly are able to conduct real-time e-bookings, access live rates, and see available capacity on Qatar Airways Cargo via WebCargo.
     Rollout began in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa and Spain in February and will continue globally during 2021.
     “We are pleased to offer the next step in air cargo booking right now live on our website,” Guillaume said.
     “Digitalization brings tomorrow today with initiatives such as online rate distribution, ad hoc rate automation, track and trace and availability via API.
     “The future of air cargo is indeed digital and our digital leap forward will definitely bring in efficiency across the supply chain.
     “As to staff, there is no cutback program or hidden agenda, simply nothing between the lines.
     “We are not taking a short-term approach—that is not our style.
     “Qatar Cargo has risen to the top by building organically,” Guillaume noted.

Big Change In Middle East Lift

     What a difference a few years has delivered in the Middle East.
     Less than an hour away from Doha by air, rivals and once wunderkind airlines Emirates and Etihad, look to be in free-fall, as both operate giant aviation enterprises located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, a puddle jump just 70 miles apart.
     Today losses are unavoidable, but Qatar whilst also suffering from the global pandemic impact, has not run up near the losses of Etihad, that during the past few years has delivered an undigestible near $6 billion in red ink.
     Emirates with its giant fleet of out of favor mini-cargo lift A380s seems also stuck in some kind of neverland.
     Into this world has come a plucky, chin out, aggressive but very attractive and beautifully equipped Qatar Airways Cargo.

Best The Blockade

     Now with an easier, reduced cargo footprint, less costly, quicker-to-market flight pattern made possible minus the blockade that was put up by Saudi Arabia, UAE and others, Guillaume looks forward to stabilized return to operations one step at a time during the intermediate recovery year that everyone hopes gains speed, returning back to normal by 2022.

Passions, Patience & Prudence

     But despite all the phone calls and meetings and plans to enhance digitalization and WeQare, this charitable incredible outreach to the world, through it all Guillaume is his usual effervescent self, his conversation reminding the visitor of the last really great cork that was popped on a bottle of champagne.

How A Lockdown Opened Some Doors

     “It’s amazing,” Guillaume said, “but working from home is achievable, however we do miss the social interaction.
     “I learned to my endless joy, that I could actually handle our two children and our dog Charlie, while my wife and I both worked from home.
     “Charlie has been a big help,” Guillaume smiled.
     “The pandemic exposed both strengths and weakness.
     “We all took salary reductions and those actions impacted thinking throughout the system as people also bought into the success of the airline at a heightened level.
     “What I have learned during the past year is to more actively listen to my teams and that has enhanced my ability to empower them.
     The Qatar Cargo coda is: follow your ideas and passions and don’t be afraid to fail.

Word Up From The Ramp

     “You know what,” Guillaume said, “I find myself marveling at the performance and heart of the operational teams, at all the airlines and the GHAs around the world, not just Qatar.
     “When you think about it, these people on the ramp minus most of their colleagues have had to work under impossible conditions and circumstances that they had never encountered before the global pandemic.
     “In our case at Qatar Airways, we have called in people from other departments to help, and even equipment, as in one case some fork lift trucks from catering to load some PPE.
     “What we discover as we reach out amongst ourselves and even others during this time is that in almost every case, a helping hand is the answer.

The Future

     “Obviously the future is now.
     “Digitalization will have to be the core value of companies that expect to be a force factor in business, moving forward.
     “I believe in the near future we will continue to be closer and even stronger as airlines and teams for not only weathering, but also for what we all experienced and learned during this terrible pandemic.
     “It has been quite a learning curve during days and nights of acting as first responders do, in our dedication to deliver pharma and other essentials to the world.
     “There is a fraternity of people in the air cargo business that will emerge from this time that can carry the industry forward.
     “I remain very optimistic,” Guillaume Halleux assured.


Sadami Sugimoto   In Germany, where General Sales Agent ATC Aviation Services AG represents ANA Cargo, the carrier will resume flights to Munich with two cargo-only flights between Munich, Germany, and Tokyo (Haneda), Japan starting on March 26th and 28th, 2021 via a Boeing 787 Dreamliner with a 35-ton lower deck capacity.
   ANA flights began in 2010, reopening trade lanes between Japan and southern Germany for automotive parts, machinery pharmaceuticals, and other general cargo.
   Sadami Sugimoto, Vice President of ANA Cargo EMEA, hailed the return:
   “ANA's return to Munich is great news and the support from our customers and partners has been overwhelming. The reintroduction of cargo flights is an important step in strengthening economic relations between Japan and Germany. We will continue to explore all opportunities and also hope to resume passenger flights before long.”

Blue Dart Women on choppers

     And none are about to be judged as just one of the boys!
     Blue Dart, the India express company that at one time was managed and driven in large part by a pioneering woman named Tulsi Mirchandaney and then bought by DHL, said that it is operating the first 100% women-run service center in Navi Mumbai.
     Pictured at Kharghar, Navi Mumbai the all-women service center includes a team of managers, customer service representatives, and security personnel as well as sales and counter staff.
     The masked man in the middle of the chicks on choppers is Balfour Manuel, CEO & Managing Director, Blue Dart.
Tulsi Mirchandaney and Sonia Nair     Blue Dart is kicking its hiring of women up a notch, branding the action “Diversity and Inclusivity”.
     The company is adding another service-center in Andheri that will be staffed 70% by women, “working shoulder to shoulder setting the pace of gender diversity,” Balfour Manuel said.
     “Tulsi Mirchandaney, Managing Director of Blue Dart Aviation, and Sonia Nair, our National Customer Service Head are two women that have played an integral role in leading Blue Dart to set and achieve new milestones, year on year.
     “They remain an inspiration for many, myself included,” Balfour Manuel declared.

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One from the Heart

Why Guillaume Halleux

REG Davies A Decade Later

     As he approaches his 90th year, Ireland’s air freight forwarding pioneer and industry founder Sean Mc Cool, (pictured above with son, Ian) of International Airline Marketing Limited (IAM) has been inducted into the All Ireland Business Foundation / AIBF.ie "Hall of Fame" for lifetime achievements and his contribution to the air cargo business.
     “The accolade,” AIBF said,” is in recognition of Sean’s outstanding contribution to Irish Industry and Commerce over the seven decades of his career.
     “In our opinion, the pioneering work undertaken by Sean in the development of the air-cargo sector has made an enormous contribution to the flow of cargo on and off the island, an infrastructure which has established Ireland as a major global export hub.”
     “I am delighted to have been selected for this lovely award and extend my heartfelt congratulations to the other accredited companies and to the All-Ireland Business Foundation for its excellent work bringing business partners together,” Sean McCool said.

Constants In A Sea of Change

     At a time in life when everything is changing, the McCools, both father Sean and son Ian have collectively been a constant of the Irish air cargo scene for more than 70 years.
     Today their company established by Sean in 1989, International Airlines Marketing Ltd. (IAM) is Ireland’s largest Air Cargo General Sales and Service Agent (GSSA), responsible for over 20 percent of all airfreight traffic from Ireland.
     The father and son team, IAM has served many carriers including American Airlines, Etihad, Air Canada, All Nippon Airways, and South African Airways and others.
     Sean's career began in the 1950s at Seaboard World Airlines (his first airline job).
     Sean later moved on to Brinks (who he introduced to Ireland) and Aer Lingus commercial cargo, where he was responsible for the establishment of the highly successful cargo operation in Ireland and Europe.

     Between 1960 and 1964, Sean participated as an Aer Lingus Executive on the Marketing Committee of the Confederation of Irish Industries.
     Sean is a founding member of the Irish Air Cargo Institute and the Irish Institute of Freight Forwarders (IIFA), where he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for service to industry.
     He is a former Council member of FIATA, the Irish Exporters Association, and a past VP of the European Confederation of National Freight Forwarders’ Associations (C.L.E.C.A.T), a consultative body to the EU Commissioner of Transport.
     “My first airline job was at Seaboard World Airways, the pioneering all cargo airline that served Ireland from New York,” Sean recalled.
     “I was responsible for both sales and operations, and on call around the clock,” he said.
     “I’d call the cargo terminal from home every morning before the night shift left to make sure the transfers had been made.
     “Sometimes, after the flight came in, I’d get a call in the middle of the night and go out to the airport to help sort the shipments.
     “It was all-hands-on-deck back in those days,” Sean remembered.
     “On the sales side, I spent a lot of time contacting forwarding agents here in Ireland.
     “There weren’t too many of them back in those days,” Sean said.
     “I would also spend several days a month out on the road converting surface to air.
     “That was tough work and could take months, maybe even a year before a shipper would even pay the slightest interest.
     “But I must say that from the beginning this has been a joyous ride in an industry filled with wonderful people.”
     “The training and experience in rolling up our sleeves and getting down to doing whatever it takes still serves the IAM team today,” Ian McCool added.
     “Despite the current challenges we shall continue to move toward return to a new normal.
     “Right now staying close to the customer and keeping everybody on the same page is key.
     “The best surprise we discover is no surprise,” Ian McCool said.

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Vol. 20 No. 8
Charlie In a Box
Chuckles for March 2, 2021
Regulating U.S. Skies
Wings Of Hope
Voyage of Discovery
In Memoriam

Vol. 20 No. 9
Let's all choose to Challenge
Chuckles for March 8, 2021
Where a Woman leads Air Cargo

Vol. 20 No. 10
ATC COVID Call Leads The Way
WOXOF—Where Are We Now?
Happy St. Patrick's Day 2021

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