The 2013 edition of the Cargo Facts Aircraft Symposium has officially wrapped, and the several hundred aviation, and air freight executives who attended are packing up for their return flights to five continents after three days of sharing knowledge and ideas. It was great to see so many old friends and colleagues, as well as some new faces. I think this year’s Symposium was one of the best in our nineteen-year history of hosting this event.
I recapped some of the highlights of the first two days in yesterday’s blog, and will hit a few of the final day’s highlights here, with a more detailed discussion to follow in the November issue of Cargo Facts.
We started day three with a round-table discussion of the current and future developments in the widebody freighter market. Shown in the photo (from left) are ACMG’s Managing Director Robert Dahl, who moderated the session, and panelists Daniel da Silva (Boeing’s VP Modification and Conversion Services), Cliff Duke (CEO of LCF Conversions), Jack Gaber (SVP Marketing, Bedek Aviation Group), Richard Greener (SVP Marketing & Specialty Markets at GECAS), and Andreas Hermann (Airbus’ VP Freighters). As you might imagine, given the state of the widebody market, and the questions in everyone’s mind regard future conversion options, the discussion was spirited, to say the least.
Next up I moderated a round-table discussion of the narrowbody freighter conversion market. The depth of knowledge and experience of the four panel members, and their willingness share that knowledge, made my job easy. It was pleasure to share the stage with Robert Convey (VP Marketing and Sales at Aeronautical Engineers Inc), Geoff Kehr (Senior VP, Air Fleet Management at DHL Express), Adrian Lim (now leading the A330 P-to-F program for ST Aero, but formerly leader of the company’s 757 conversion program), and Brian McCarthy (VP Sales and Marketing at Precision Conversions).
The final session was a discussion by five leading aircraft appraisers, ably led by Fred Klein, President of Aviation Specialists Group, of the current and future values of some of the most interesting aircraft on the market today. He was joined by Doug Kelly (Senior Vice President – Asset Valuation, AVITAS, Inc.), Ken de Jaeger (Director of Acquisition and Leasing, Contrail Aviation Support, Inc.), Mark Halsor (President, Aircraft Information Services, Inc.), Eddy Pieniazek (Chief Advisor at Ascend). It was interesting to see where the five opinions differed and where they converged.
To end the morning, and the Symposium, we sat down for a lunch featuring a presentation by Didier Lenormand the Head of Freighter Marketing at Airbus. As Boeing’s Tom Crabtree had done at the previous day’s lunch, Didier discussed some of the assumptions behind his company’s recently-released 20-year freighter forecast.
While that was the official end of the Symposium, those delegates who chose to stay a bit longer (and over 100 of them did) were able to tour the Boeing manufacturing facility in Everett, just north of Seattle.
My thanks to all of my colleagues at ACMG for working so hard to put on such a great event, to our sponsors for their loyal support, and to the hundreds of delegates from around the world who honored us by traveling here for three great days.