|Vol. 22 No. 23||
Thursday July 13, 2023
It strikes me at the half-way point in 2023, air cargo having held a half-dozen events has not spoken very much at any one of them about how it plans outreach for marketing itself to carry forward a cohesive image to augment the millions of dollars in free publicity it received during the COVID years.
There are lots of stories on sustainability and other topics. Vast sums of air cargo budgets are spent on vying for self-congratulatory awards. More exposure should be given to how demand to get life saving medicines and other supplies was accomplished and how innovation and ingenuity and inventiveness of air cargo people really made the difference.
About the freighter fleets that were added right now the story isn’t about their next assignments, today the story lines are “what the hell do we do with them now?”
The smartest thing that anyone in air cargo ever said about the future of our industry were words Bill Boesch delivered as President, while putting American Airlines Cargo on the international route map of the world during the 1990s.
Bill is always right to the point, the way executives like Jan Krems is today at United Cargo or Jacques Ancher was at KLM Cargo or Fred Smith at Federal Express, or John Mahoney was at Seaboard World Airways or Guenter Rohrmann was at Air Express International (AEI-Wings & Wheels).
“What air cargo has already done points the way to its future.
“But the future is not necessarily assured.
“The only way to predict the future of air cargo is to create it,” said Bill Boesch in 1995.
Those words from nearly 30 years ago were both an absolute truth, and also an appeal that still pertain to the industry today.
It remains to be seen if cargo, post COVID, can do a better job as an industry marketing itself to the great unwashed public at large.
The core challenge we believe remains also akin to the words uttered by Julius Maldutis, the financial research guy at Solomon Brothers, who said he thought that the air cargo industry unlike passengers, remains a largely undefined business.
The question in 2023 is, what has changed?
In aviation history, the last time air cargo had an opportunity like the one delivered to it in the Covid epidemic, was 1948 when the Berlin Airlift invented the industry.
A hundred cargo companies all over the world were formed with surplus DC3 and Curtiss C46 airplanes with business models that in most cases all basically copied each other, until Fred Smith stood alone and changed everything.
Interestingly in 2023, dynamic new talent like the visionary Eduardo Del Riego, founder of Miami-based PayCargo has come up with a transformational way for payments for all modes of transportation worldwide.
Same goes for Ingo Zimmer, CEO of GSSA ATC that has grown by leaps and bounds with a staff of the most eclectic group of former cargo professionals, plus a cadre of brilliant up and coming young people.
Zimmer’s addition of the great pioneering Jane Vaz in Delhi offers an absolutely thrilling New Deal for India Air Cargo.
How about Amar More, Co Founder of Kale Logistics Solutions that burst on the scene with answers and solutions for streamlining the last mile to and from cargo handling facilities? Innovation and change in air cargo today exists.
Innovation and support for change in air cargo today is there but one can only wonder why, for example, IATA, especially after the air cargo bretherin showed such style and class, even strapping cargo into passenger seats during the pandemic act like they cannot wait to get back to the passenger business.
How about giving cargo some come uppance and allowing for some home grown “show me” with maybe IATA Cargo leading the way in gathering some smart cargo thinking toward a bigger “can do” future for all of us, but best of all by mounting a global campaign touting just how good we are as a people in the transportation business and sending that message out as far as possible to the great unwashed?
Back where the rubber meets the road, there is Bill Boesch still piloting his way toward studying and developing the industry via the military and elsewhere, He is happy to report that after 60 years still loves the ever constant life of pushing back and upward morning, noon and, of course night, where “the night time animal” lives.
“The challenge right now,” Bill said, “is not money.
“Money in 2023 is not the answer.
“Small operators of freighters have a challenge, a significant yield loss.
“During COVID freighter operators answered the call and did the job but many expanded too fast and too much.
“Now as demand slackens, it is a matter of survival.
“Labor and specifically the unions will impact the industry more than anything else.
“At the same time, stockholders want their share, so industry advocates should also be the ones to be concerned about the current environment.
“You hear that pilot demands are for 40% plus increases in salary and who knows about that?
“But expand that thinking to realize that as business returns as it always does, change will undoubtedly continue.
“One example of how all this downward pressure and scramble for realignment is the move that will speed up the advent of pilotless aircraft.’
“No doubt Investment in technology is smart money right now,” Bill Boesch concluded.
The Indian air cargo market’s huge potential has not spurred India’s largest carrier IndiGo to boost its freighter fleet.
Nothing new there, the recent slow downs worldwide have freighter operators waiting and watching. Ever since IndiGo started cargo operations on November 15, 2022 with its first A321F flight between Delhi and Mumbai, the carrier has deployed its freighters on international routes.
At the launch, Mahesh Malik, Chief Commercial Officer, CarGo, IndiGo (he now handles domestic cargo) had said that the flight was kicking off a new chapter in IndiGo’s journey.
He had pointed out that “the response we have received from customers for our service offering is very encouraging. We expect the business to grow over the coming few months, as we expand our fleet of freighters and add new destinations to our CarGo network.”
Barely a week later, on November 22, 2022, CarGo operated its first international A321 P2F freighter flight between Kolkata and Yangon prompting Malik to comment that the business would expand over the next few months.
CarGo has moved ahead to boost its operations: in addition to regular flights from Mumbai to the UAE and Gulf nations, it has two weekly flights from Kolkata to Yangon, Hong Kong and Vietnam. Meanwhile, CarGo had set up dedicated cargo facilities at a number of Indian airports through 2022. These facilities would handle the rise in perishable and agri cargo within and outside India.
What then holds CarGo back from moving on with its expansion plans? The major reason, according to air cargo veterans, is the slow growth of air cargo, largely due to the economic slowdown that major world economies face.
Mark Sutch, CarGo’s Chief Commercial Officer – CarGo International (appointed March 1, 2023) quoted an IATA report that mentioned air cargo would not see a profit globally; in fact, the report pointed out a 33% year-on-year decline in cargo revenue. Sutch also said that in 2022-23, air cargo remained at the same 3.14 mn tons result achieved during the previous fiscal year.
CarGo, we learn is keen to create an operation where two of its freighters are used efficiently. Incidentally, CarGo will be adding another reconfigured A321 freighter to its fleet in fiscal Q3 (October-December).
CarGo also handles cargo for IndiGo’s A320/321 passenger aircraft where the payloads are subject to route, passenger and baggage demand.
Due to the large number of passenger flights, the line-haul uplift in passenger bellies was significantly higher than tonnage on the freighters.
IndiGo also operates two daily B777 flights between Delhi/Mumbai and Istanbul – in addition to 300-odd A320/321 narrow bodies with 1,800 daily departures nationally.
IndiGo’s CarGo is aware of the Indian air cargo potential, though freight volumes have been stagnant recently. Looking ahead market outlook remains positive, according to air cargo veterans.
One driver in all of this is the Indian government’s air cargo policy goal of putting India among the top five air freight markets by 2025.
Just as India dominates new aircraft orders at Paris Air Show earlier this month, ATC Aviation Services AG deepens its ability to widen the gap as leading GSSA serving India, now the fastest growing aviation market in the world.
Here on the scene this week with ATC’s India Team is Ingo Zimmer, company CEO. Standing next to Ingo's leftt is Jane Vaz.
Also pictured from left are Mr. Rajan Nijhawan, Mr. Azeem Naqvi, Ms. Sakshi Gupta. Pictured to Mr. Zimmer's right is Mr. Vikramjit Singh Ahluwali, Member of Board of ATC Aviation India Pvt. Ltd.
Jane recently joined the ATC team as Manager Sales India bringing not only great experience but also traceable, tangible results every step of the way having served 27 years as a pioneering” Woman in Air Cargo” (or anybody else for that matter), at Etihad Cargo, South African Airways Cargo and most recently a dozen years for Turkish Airlines Cargo.
No voodoo economics either, as Jane says:
"Women in air cargo just make sense.
“If we overcome our internal barriers and ability to self-promote, we (women) can see immense growth and equal opportunity. Time management, work-life balance and creating a good support network to help ourselves will give us the right balance.”
“The cargo industry," Jane Vaz says, "has evolved and grown providing lot of opportunities to women.
“Now, it solely depends on us to recognize and grow with our inner strengths and abilities.”
ATC, an all around winner here. The ATC Air Force is out front, pulling away!
The company Wallenborn Transports
SA was founded 103 years ago in 1920 by Metty Wallenborn. The idea was
to be able to transport whatever needed both nationally and internationally
today may be the mission to be the most trusted resource for specialized
transport in Europe with 950 vehicles at 17 offices in 17 countries
that handled 633,000 plus shipments via 120 airports in 2022. But Wallenborn
just upped its game, naming Ram Menon, ex-Amazon for the past half decade,
as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) of Wallenborn Group based in Luxembourg.
The 54th edition of the Paris Air Show, held at Le Bourget Field June 19-25, was the first gathering of this fabled annual event since it was grounded four years ago due to the Covid Pandemic. The confab for 2023 took off complete with all the expected publicity blitz from the usual suspects, and their YouTube cheering sections.
Airbus and Boeing order books, always the big story here, closed at on or near record numbers, but what dominated this comeback year of 2023 were orders from Tata Group’s Air India Limited and LCC IndiGo (InterGlobe Aviation Ltd), both serving India, now the world’s fasting growing market.
Air India finalized a previously announced order for 470 planes from Airbus and Boeing.
Not to be outdone, rival IndiGo ordered 500 Airbus narrow body jets.
At Le Bourget The European Space Agency (ESA) Pavilion hosted institutional and trade visitors on the first four days, then for a grand finale on the last three days threw open the doors for everybody including space and aviation enthusiasts, students and families with their children.
Where there is a gathering, “sustainability” as an audience driver these days is not lost in the shuffle, as ESA unveiled its Zero Debris Charter, a starting point for an ambitious push encouraging European commercial and institutional actors to adopt more sustainable space debris practices.
For us, every International Paris Air Show is a recollection of our days with friend and colleague Ansel Edward McLaurine Talbert.
As Aviation Editor of The New York Herald Tribune, Talbert's interviews with legends Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, Howard Hughes and Billy Mitchell helped call attention to the importance of military aircraft.
The International Paris Air Show, since its inception in 1909 is a special occasion to meet up with all the key players in the aerospace industry, tell your story and present your innovations to the world and form technological and industrial partnerships.
We also recall how Ed Talbert, who worked for General Doolittle in the UK on Operation Ultra during WW II, loved the Paris Air Show and attended dozens of those events post war serving another half century and was amongst the most important and honored aviation journalists in the world.
In the picture above Ed Talbert (R) circa 1948 with Richard Malkin (L) at deadline, covering the Berlin Airlift at Tempelhof Field Berlin. Two all time greatest aviation journalists, who we were honored to have working at our publication, are remembered fondly.
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Vol. 22 No. 20
Can't Wait For Tomorrow
Women In Air Cargo
Security & Dangerous Goods
Oscar Nobre Is Good
Put Gen AI To Work
Vol. 22 No. 21
Sean McCool With The Angels Now
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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