Jim Butler takes over from Art Torno
Jim Butler takes over from Art Torno

Torno retires at AA Cargo, Butler succeeding him
Art Torno will give up his post as Senior VP International and Cargo at American Airlines in April, announces the carrier. Art joined American in 1979 as a flight attendant and has held numerous leadership positions, including Vice President – New York, Vice President – Caribbean and Latin American Operations and Vice President – Miami. “American Airlines is a better place because of Art Torno, and all of us who have worked with him are better people. We wish him the best in his well-deserved retirement," said AA’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker in his farewell address.
Torno will be followed by Jim Butler, who will assume the role of Senior VP International and Cargo. Jim has been with the airline for 21 years, working in several departments including Sales, Marketing, Pricing and Finance. In his role as President AA Cargo, a post he’s held since 2013, Jim helped strengthen the cargo department’s contribution to the airline.

Robert van de Weg  -  photo: hs
Robert van de Weg - photo: hs

ABC’s Robert van de Weg departs
It was widely reported late last week that Robert van de Weg, Volga-Dnepr’s Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing, has decided to leave the company.
His decision has come as a great surprise to his fellow colleagues in the industry.
Robert, who looks back on a successful sales career with carriers such as KLM, Atlas Air and Cargolux, is a greatly respected individual in the air cargo industry.
He joined AirBridgeCargo in 2014 and took up the position of Senior V.P Sales & Marketing and was instrumental in pushing ABC’s sales product forward worldwide.
Robert van de Weg was then promoted to Senior V.P. Sales & Marketing for the complete Volga-Dnepr Group in October of last year and was given the responsibility for the Group’s scheduled cargo and charter operations.
There has been no official notification or comment from either the Volga-Dnepr management or Robert van de Weg as to why he has decided to stand down.

UK’s Jet2 ends freighter operations
The carrier which is located in Leeds/Bradford, UK, has taken the decision to end their freighter operations.
The carrier which has a fleet of over 60 aircraft and operates passenger charter flights out of the UK has withdrawn their last Boeing 737 freighter from normal operations and has decided to concentrate purely on passenger operations.
Jet2 had used this aircraft along with a small fleet of B737-300QCs to operate overnight mail flights on behalf of Royal Mail.
The carrier now operates 49 B737s and 11 B757s on routes from the UK to the Mediterranean and the United States.


Cathay Pacific Cargo and Lufthansa Cargo under one roof in FRA
What was notified in May of 2016 has now become fact.
Lufthansa Cargo has welcomed Cathay Pacific Cargo into its Frankfurt cargo handling facility. Cathay Cargo relocated to LH Cargo’s large warehouse on January 17th and it is expected that Cathay's full cargo operations including sales, network planning and IT services will be up and running there as of 1. February.
The first joint LH/CX shipment bookings will then be on offer to clients on the sector Hong Kong - Europe with the eastbound routing Europe - Hong Kong following on in 2018.
The move to the Lufthansa Cargo Center (LCC) is part of the Joint Business Agreement (JBA) reached between both carriers and which complies with all applicable EU and Hong Kong rulings.

Amazon’s Prime Air receives additional freighters
A Boeing 767-300BDSF aircraft which was previously in passenger service with American Airlines has been converted to a freighter by Bedeck Aviation Group and handed over to Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) which operates aircraft for Amazon’s Prime Air on routes within the USA. In a complicated deal, ATSG’s leasing company, Cargo Aircraft Management (CAM), leased the aircraft to Amazon who in turn have handed it back to ATSG subsidiary ABX Air who will then operate it on a CMI deal for Amazon (Prime Air).
Atlas Air, who also operates on behalf of Prime Air, received another converted B767-300BDSF which once flew for Russia’s Transaero Airlines. Atlas own leasing company, Titan Aviation Leasing has leased the aircraft to Amazon who also returned it to Atlas Air  and it will also operate for Prime Air on a CMI lease deal.

Mexico’s TSM goes for CRJ freighters
Aeronaves TSM which is based in Saltillo, Mexico and operates a fleet of around seventeen aircraft, has signed a deal with Aeronautical engineers Inc (AEI) to convert two passenger CRJ-200ER aircraft into freighters.
The first aircraft is due to be converted and delivered to TSM by the middle of this year with the second following in the last quarter of 2017.
AEI which has its main base in Miami is specialized in passenger to freighter (P2F) series conversion and has delivered many converted aircraft during the past few years.
TSM operates freighter services from Mexico with a mixed fleet of B767, DC-9, MD-82 and MD-83 cargo aircraft.
The CRJ conversions will become the most modern freighters in the Mexican airlines’ future fleet.
It is also said that TSM has wet leased three of their DC-9 freighters to another Mexican cargo operator, Estafata Airways.

AerCaribe B737F mishap in Leticia
On January 28th an AerCaribe B737-400 freighter which was operating flight HK-5197 from Bogota to Leticia (Colombia) had a landing mishap in Leticia whereby the aircraft overran the end of the runway and ended up in soft ground past the end of the runway’s paved area.
There were luckily no injuries among the four crew members on board but the aircraft (see photo) has sustained considerable damage. It is presently being investigated as to whether it can be repaired or has to be written off completely.

John Mc Donagh

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