Executive Briefings

Uncertainty Affects Entire Airfreight Industry, Says Head of American Airlines Cargo

Uncertainty is the only certainty in the current airfreight market, according to Kenji Hashimoto, the new man in charge of American Airlines Cargo.

Despite the industry's high hopes for smartphone shipments, Hashimoto says customers are unclear whether they will see a peak-season dividend this year, let alone what their prospects are heading into 2013.

American is reducing its flight schedule by up to 2 percent for the rest of September and October, mainly domestic, and has notified more than 11,000 personnel that they could be laid off.

Nonetheless, as American heads toward a year in Chapter 11, streamlining - not least by reducing head count - is a key focus. The unions may see some irony in this, given the vast amount of new metal that's on the way. The carrier announced orders for 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and 260 Airbus A320 variants, together with 465 options, in July 2011.

More significant from the cargo perspective, the first of 10 777-300ERs enters long-haul service at the end of this year. These offer 30 percent more cargo capacity than the -200ERs; the first will be deployed from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sao Paulo, a destination Hashimoto claims has been under-served in cargo terms. As of February 1, American will be flying -300s five times a day into Heathrow, with two services from DFW, two from JFK and one from Los Angeles.

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Despite the industry's high hopes for smartphone shipments, Hashimoto says customers are unclear whether they will see a peak-season dividend this year, let alone what their prospects are heading into 2013.

American is reducing its flight schedule by up to 2 percent for the rest of September and October, mainly domestic, and has notified more than 11,000 personnel that they could be laid off.

Nonetheless, as American heads toward a year in Chapter 11, streamlining - not least by reducing head count - is a key focus. The unions may see some irony in this, given the vast amount of new metal that's on the way. The carrier announced orders for 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and 260 Airbus A320 variants, together with 465 options, in July 2011.

More significant from the cargo perspective, the first of 10 777-300ERs enters long-haul service at the end of this year. These offer 30 percent more cargo capacity than the -200ERs; the first will be deployed from Dallas/Fort Worth to Sao Paulo, a destination Hashimoto claims has been under-served in cargo terms. As of February 1, American will be flying -300s five times a day into Heathrow, with two services from DFW, two from JFK and one from Los Angeles.

Read Full Article