Three cargo bosses gone in three days

United Airlines 777-200 Photo: Wikimedia/Juels Meulmans

United Airlines 777-200 Photo: Wikimedia/Juels Meulmans

9 June: According to the US publication Flying Typers, United Airlines parted company with Robbie Anderson, President of the carrier’s United Cargo division. The paper said a source at United had confirmed the news, but would only say: “I can confirm he decided to leave the company.”

United Cargo has seriously underperformed the industry in the last few years, reporting a 7.0% decline in traffic from 2011 to 2012, and an even bigger 10.1% drop from 2012 to 2013. The carrier struggled with the integration of the cargo departments of Continental and United following their merger, with the problem exacerbated by both operational and accounting issues resulting from problems with the move to a new IT system.

10 June: Last day on the job for Mohd Yunus Idris, CEO of MASkargo, the cargo arm of Malaysian Airlines. The carrier gave no reason for the sudden resignation, but Malaysian has not performed well in recent years, and the mysterious and much-publicized loss of flight MH370 earlier this year only made things worse.

11 June: Cargo Facts’ European editor Alex Lennane broke the news that Delta Air Lines announced the retirement of Tony Charaf, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Cargo Officer. Mr. Charaf’s retirement will only be effective 1 August, but the real news is the effective termination of cargo operations as a separate department at the airline.

Delta’s cargo performances has not been as bad as United’s in the last two years, but it has not been very good – up 0.5% in 2012 and down 1.4% in 2013 – especially when compared to American Airlines, which has seen steady increases in cargo traffic since the end of 2012.

Regarding the change in Delta’s cargo philosophy, we offer the following excerpt from a memo from the carrier’s President, Ed Bastian (as seen by our European editor):

“With Tony’s departure, we will restructure the Cargo organization to benefit more directly from resources on the passenger side of Delta’s business by making Cargo Sales part of our Global Sales team and aligning Cargo Operations with Airport Customer Service.

Under the new structure, Ray Curtis, v.p.–Global Cargo Sales, will report to Steve Sear, s.v.p.–Global Sales, and Lisa Wallace, director–Cargo Revenue Management and Alliances, will report to Ray. Sharon Poindexter, director–Cargo E-Commerce, will report to Kristen Shovlin, v.p.–Sales Operations. The Cargo operations team – including postal affairs and continuous improvement – under the leadership of Scott Barkley, managing director–Global Cargo Operations, will report to Bill Lentsch, s.v.p.–Airport Customer Service.”


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