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Family Aid 2020
   Vol. 20 No. 32
Monday August 16, 2021


Jim Butler

  Jim Butler, the youthful, energetic, just retired senior vice president airport operations and cargo from American Airlines in Dallas, barely misses a beat, having said goodbye and then hello in almost the same breath.
  Now as CFO for Gatwick Airport in the U.K., ‘Big Jim’ at 6'4" is a great catch for that gateway, as he is a brilliant strategic thinker, genuine good-guy and a very positive force.
  I know Jim from his years at AA Cargo where he once served as President.
  Jim is a third-generation member of a transportation-centric family.
  His grandfather was a top executive at Panagra in Latin America. I recall one of our early conversations, as we reminisced about those glory days of Panagra, an airline owned by Pan Am.
  Jim also revealed just where he was coming from, as he moved into top management at AA Cargo:
  An “interesting aspect” Jim said of the air transportation business is that the “ebbs and flows” of global economies suggest a vital requirement:
  “Be prepared to act on the next opportunity.”

On Being A Transportation Parent

Jim, Sharon, Alex and Reagan Butler  As a father of four, I especially appreciated what Jim said in 2015 about being an air transportation parent with his wife Sharon, as the couple raise two children, Alex and Reagan who are now twelve and eleven years old.
  “No one ever looked back at their life and said that they wished that they had worked more, but they certainly look back to say that they didn’t spend enough time with the family,” Jim declared.
  Good advice, well-spoken, never forgotten.
  Maintaining a healthy balance, whenever the possibility exists, never gets old.
  Good luck, Jim.

Building 339 and 340, Newarj Airport

     Amazon is cooking up a deal with the New York New Jersey Port Authority that, if enacted, could end up turning over 23 acres or the heart of Newark International Airport Air Cargo handling space via Buildings 339 and 340 to one company, Amazon, leaving almost every other cargo operator at the airport including 22 airlines, whistling in the wind.

Is it a Film or a Dream? No, it’s a Maze, Going on and on.

Jeff Bezos     If Robert Fischer were Jeff Bezos’s son perhaps their plane could be flying now into EWR, rather than LAX, and one could wonder which level of dream within a dream would safeguard continuing diversity in Newark’s air cargo business. This is not Inception’s 2010, but 2021’s differing routes in multiplicity and singularity, emerging with clarity in the tale that the New York New Jersey Port Authority recounts in its recently published Press Release.
     On August 5, 2021 PR 79-2021 defines their “response to air cargo growth” as “aggressive” and it hurries to explain that “no Port Authority capital funding will be required in support of this transaction”, which we could define as a truism. How could the Authority be ever required to part with money to lease a moneymaker to a private enterprise planning to extract billions of dollars from it in the next twenty years?
Kevin O'Toole     If you continue reading, your amazement grows. “Newark Liberty is a critical driver of the regional economy,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole.
     “This single partnership has the potential to grow the airport’s workforce by almost 5 percent…”
     There is a triumphant touch in explaining that the local growth will be ‘nearly’ 5% without comparing it to the rest of the country’s, and/or the rest of the world’s, which are both expected to be greater, or inflation, also expected to similarly grow.
     So what are we talking about?

The Power of Coveting Thy Neighbour’s House

     Doing the math tells you more about this dream deal: reading the same PR, the entirety is worth USD$307 million, USD$150 million upfront and USD$157 million payable in 20 years, i.e. $5.1 per sqft a month. If not lured by the upfront cash, would you want to part with 23 acres of developed space in the NYC area for $2.6 per sqft a month for the next twenty years? What if inflation (now about 5%) gains speed?
     In the pursuit of its private interests, Amazon is trying to make a deal with the New York New Jersey Port Authority that belies belief.

Amazon Newark Snapshot

Toast to the Deal

NJ Governor Phil Murphy     Let us go back to the PR for a second. “This investment in Newark Liberty International Airport will create 1,000 jobs and provide significant opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises,” said Governor Phil Murphy. However, the Authority affirms that “local air cargo remains an essential link in the global supply chain and a critical driver of New York-New Jersey economic growth. Overall, air cargo supports 22,000 jobs, USD$4 billion in sales and USD$1.5 billion in overall wages throughout the Newark region.”
     Was the regional economy in dire need of just one driver, rather than many? How many of the existing 22,000 jobs are already held by women and minorities, who will probably have to face the catch between losing their jobs in the different local operations or accept the conditions imposed by the few remaining employers? Which figure of the 22,000 jobs will be shelved by the consequences of this agreement? If this number exceeds 1,000, the Authority has then shot itself in the foot and caused a 20-year long damage to the Newark region’s community by significantly curtailing the USD$1.5 billion wages, which are earned today.
     Buildings 339 and 340 have been multi-tenant properties for twenty years and are home to Scandinavian Airline, EVA Air, Virgin Atlantic Cargo, American Airlines Cargo, Delta Cargo and a world-class cadre of handled international air carriers. Now with the looming Amazon deal, this multi-faceted operation is toast.

The Lease Leaves Winner and Losers

     If the deal goes through, many fear The Port Authority of New York New Jersey will soon be handing out eviction notices with the caveat of “beat it or…” with a very short time to vacate those facilities. Then it will be a tough decision between additional costs or moving somewhere else, and the NYC area is no cheap place.
     That’s right—airlines, handling companies, forwarders, i.e. hundreds of air cargo employed staff, not to mention perhaps thousands of shippers that rely on air cargo via Newark for their daily business and personal needs, are in fear of being displaced on short notice, if PANYNJ is allowed to proceed without discussion.

Dream Deal Showing Everyone Else to the Door, with Nowhere to Go

     Currently there are only three cargo facilities at EWR. Buildings 339 and 340 were operated by Aeroterm (the 20-year Aeroterm agreement just ended) and leased to 22 international carriers; building 344 is owned and operated by United and building 157 is owned by the Port Authority and leased to DHL, CBP, UPS and other entities (not enough space to relocate 22 carriers). If this plan moves ahead, United could be the only traditional airline capable of moving cargo at EWR.
     After having weathered the COVID Pandemic with flying colors, whilst air freight continues to soar, you may think air cargo at Newark is safe instead of feeling the snake bite and the steel grip of the landlord coming down at this point, consequently shutting businesses down altogether. FlyingTypers learned from unverified sources that RFEI’s and RFQ’s on the properties were issued with no requirement to bid upon. However, the RFP was actually issued requiring an over USD$400 million commitment, (43 million over Amazon’s offer for the entire site).
     Get the drift here: “We have no place to go,” was one comment. “We are offered some miniscule amount of handling space elsewhere on the field, which cannot accommodate our employees, let alone the volume of freight moving through this gateway,” another operator underlined.
     “The award of EWR cargo facility 339 and 340 to Amazon Air will disrupt international belly cargo for over 22 international carriers. Right now in terms of our future it is a very unhealthy situation,” FT was told. “By awarding these facilities to Amazon, the Port Authority has taken 200,000 square feet of International belly cargo capacity at EWR down, and the livelihood of thousands potentially down to zero,” was the last comment we heard.

Airlines Cannot Afford Cargo Loss

     Amazon dominating air cargo at Newark is likely to cripple international airlines’ ability to deliver badly needed, robust cargo capacity, vital to maintain passenger flights in today’s environment.
     What makes this deal seem so irrational is a story as old as air cargo itself. Local and regional small businesses depend on commerce like fish, fruits and vegetables along with personal effects that are being shipped via Newark. Local and regional pharmaceutical companies in this area also depend on the belly cargo capacity offered by the domestic and international carriers that serve here.
     There is no commitment from Amazon’s side to actually do anything to ensure continuity in these activities. Reading the 5 (five) PR’s published by Amazon in their Newsfeed containing the word Newark in the last 30 days, we cannot find a line about this plan and its consequences.
     Let us also not forget, first class and military mail moved by USPS at Newark will also be impacted. At EWR, FedEx, UPS and DHL already operate, so the diversity of smaller and bigger businesses is actually balanced and thriving, but cancelling several SME’s to provide Amazon with a red carpet could be the final bell. Maybe 50 years ago there was much more room to grow at Newark and nobody paid much attention to the facility, today most of the buildable space looks to be taken, so competition for space is fiercer and the role of the Authority is actually to ensure the right mix of smaller and bigger interests through which our society has been growing since our Independence Day. This is what we celebrate on July 4th and we must not forget it just thirty days later.
     “We were not given any notice that the deal with Amazon was closed prior to this press release,” FlyingTypers was told. In reality the PR says that “the lease, which remains subject to final negotiation and is expected to take effect later this year…” makes you think the deal can only be slightly altered now, not cancelled.
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez      Of course the usual suspects, oblivious of any consequences and perhaps without analyzing the stark figures contained in the PR itself, are out in the market talking of the jobs that Amazon will deliver, with stories placed in local New Jersey papers much in the same fashion as when, a couple of years ago, Amazon tried to set up a big distribution site in Long Island City, New York. That past effort was then stopped by the locals, led by the then almost unknown Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (right).
     We can’t help but wonder whether the Newark region locals will find their own champion and stop this deal or what will happen to all that cargo moving through EWR and the fate of all those companies, if they (the locals) limit themselves to sip the kool aid of the 1,000 jobs.
     Surely the plan cannot be to just truck the consignments to JFK. What would hundreds of trucks per week add to the road traffic and what would the environmental impact of the additional landside exhaust be, without curbing a single molecule in the emissions in the air? Well, that is one thought. Another is whether Newark is going to continue hosting the thriving diversity of its multifaceted business landscape, or adapt to become a different Metropolis. As we have learned from Fritz Lang in 1927: "The Mediator Between the Head and the Hands Must Be the Heart".

chuckles for August 16, 2021

Ingo Zimmer

You cannot mask that during these lockdown times, Ingo Zimmer, CEO and his global team at ATC GSSA are holding the relationships developed over the years across an expanding roster of service partners "even closer," as Ingo puts it.
     Everybody is watching this wunderkind company that has taken the spirit and innovation lead in the global GSSA market with its compelling solutions and staff of professionally trained and seasoned account executives, many who have served in both the airline and freight forwarder role.
     These days, without a doubt, of all GSSA services it is exactly these words that have resonated across company lines in the global GSSA landscape where as 2021 continues, ATC is out front and pulling away.
     “There is no secret sauce at ATC,” Ingo declares, and no empty promises either, we add.
     “It’s all about people and service delivery with no excuses,” Ingo said.
     “Every day ATC reminds our partners that we never forget how important they are.
     “Knowing what to expect is always priority one in ATC service,” Ingo said.
     As noted, ATC does not employ any smoke and mirrors in its no-nonsense approach to GSSA.
     “Our main priority of making sure all of our service partners know what to expect, and driving complete transparency during every part of the shipping process employs the ATC will to succeed and the spirited involvement of everyone on our team.
     “That is the ATC coda as we work our way back from the pandemic,” Ingo said.
     “Our friendship and concern has never slackened.”

On The Road To Morocco

     “Take the case of our 28-year successful co-operation with Royal Air Maroc Cargo.
     “Royal Air Maroc Cargo is a great service that punches above its weight in every effort.
     “It is our job to make sure that we continue to do our utmost to support
our service partnership, based on long held trust and the belief that the aircargo agent is the ultimate judge of how we are doing as service providers.
     “We never forget how important our partners in the supply chain, the airline and the aircargo agent are to our success and it’s going the extra mile in our effort, that makes the most difference in the long run.
     “In the case of Royal Air Maroc, our partnership started with the contract for Germany and over the years because of the good performance, Asia, Argentina, Brazil, Austria and Canada have been added. ”

It’s Like That All Over

     “You have to think about where you want to be and how you like to be treated when approaching this industry if you expect to be around for any length of time,” Ingo said.

ATC Always Takes Care

     “August has arrived, and again this year like the last will be a new experience, sure that the high summer skies may elicit the desire to kick back and enjoy the hazy, crazy, lazy days of summer 2021, but with COVID-19 still in somewhat the pole position regarding air cargo gatherings and how we do business we will continue to double down our efforts to stay very close to our service partners.
     “Our staff of seasoned energetic veterans are bringing forward a new class of cargo executive capability and vitality to the GSSA business.
     “Our company in just three short decades is admired all over the world.
     “Not for nothing is ATC “Always Take Care” recognized in 2021, as a standard in the world.”

The Tiffany Of GSSA

     There is much more behind the fast rising “Tiffany GSSA” known today as ATC.
     “We create a “can-do” atmosphere for the air cargo package as part of our agreements, offering carriers some refuge and one less thing to worry about.
     “ATC is, in reality, a company that has emerged in the service quarter serving up a mix of both passenger and freighter airlines.
     “Right now despite the success of air cargo during the pandemic we note that all of our carriers are remarkably more cost-conscious than they were even just a few years ago.
     “In other words as we move along in 2021 every single cargo flight is carefully scrutinized,” Ingo said, adding:
     “In some ways the impossible COVID scourge has made us better and more aware of the great service we are entrusted to deliver.”

Hey Friend Do It Again

     We are wondering after all is said and done, after 18 months of operating behind a mask at home and away from the familiar, what has changed. And would Ingo choose an air cargo career again?
     “Given another chance to choose a career, of course it would be air cargo.
     “This is the most exciting job you can have.
     “You are in aviation, the cargo people are straightforward, and your playground is the world.
     “There are business friends everywhere, and every day in so many places you can see the results of your work.
     “When I began my career, I was selling, I was booking, I was doing the load plan.
     “And when the cargo docs were handed to the aircraft crew and the cargo holds were closed, I often stayed at the ramp and watched as the aircraft departed.
     “I knew I did my job, but I also realized those planes were going to places yet to be discovered, and that drove my imagination.
     “Now my job description is different, but to me air cargo is still exciting.
     “I can endorse cargo as a career, and would love to see my sons grow up and become air cargo specialists.”

Too Much Change Is Not Enough

     “The pandemic has been terrible for the world. It has stretched resources and imagination to the limit.
     “Everyone, in my view, knows and expects much more from air cargo than in the past.
     “The pandemic has both made cargo famous as savior of the airlines and also the preferred way to ship vital commodities at once to people in need the world over.
     “Images of vaccines arriving to arrest the COVID and save lives all over the world have been quite compelling.
     “No doubt top of the list moving ahead in 2021 and beyond will be digitization, although we have heard that call before.”

Double Down Upping Services

     ““Now up and down the line at ATC, we are working to up our game to become the preferred GSSA choice in the world.
     ““In fact, we can’t wait for tomorrow because we think air cargo looks better every day,” Ingo Zimmer declared.

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TIACA Cancels November Summit
High Flying Air Canada

Pumping TrafficTop notch air cargo professional Angel Ramirez, Managing Director United Cargo took the package and retired last week. Angel RamirezAngel was a CO Cargo guy that moved with the merger to Chicago 11 years ago and was a much beloved in the industry go-to fixture ever since. From the Dominican Republic, we hear Angel was most recently in Miami visiting his Mom, considering his options moving ahead. Good luck “Good Guy” Angel . . . Air Cargo remains the only form of air transport currently operating at boffo levels as compared to 2019. Last month worldwide air cargo delivered numbers up 12% as compared to 2019 . . . Airbus said it delivered 297 aircraft during the first six months of 2021 earning a 2.2B€ net profit. Airbus is also looking at a freighter version of its A350 . . . The Delta variant (COVID-19, not the airline) in China is severely impacting travel as both domestic and international are off in August as compared to early 2020 levels. In Port news operations at Ningbo Meishan port terminal were suspended on August 11, 2021, due to a case of COVID-19. The terminal handles about 25% of the port’s container cargo. The authorities have said that the operating systems will remain down until Ningbo Municipal Health Commission can determine the extent of the outbreak. This is the second shutdown at a major Chinese port after the ShenzhenYantian Port closure for over a month in May . . . Everywhere there are glimmers of domestic and regional travel with surging numbers. As example, American Airlines Q2 pax totals down 20.6% anticipates 90% domestic seat capacity and 80% of international seat capacity, but the reality check is that in terms of what is flying long haul international, the situation everywhere including Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa and the rest of the world is a real bloodbath of red ink. Intra-Europe flights are at -30% compared to 2019 while intercontinental service landed at -47% during July . . . Dublin gateway said that July 2021 pax dipped by 81% versus July 2019. London Luton July pax down 84.7% on July 2019. International traffic from and to Middle-East in July of 1,739 flights is -43% as compared to February 2020 . . . Jet fuel prices flying high from 100 cts/gal last autumn to nearly double@183 cts/gal this month . . .

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