In a move which may have surprised many in the industry, Western Global Airlines who’s headquarters are in the U.S. city of Estero, Florida and which has its main operating base at Sarasota-Bradenton Airport, has declared that it is seriously considering entering into the scheduled cargo market.
Up till now just charter and ACMI operations
The carrier which was officially founded in 2013 has been operating its fleet of fourteen aircraft mainly on cargo charter operations and so called ACMI (Wet Lease) flights for other carriers.
The number of aircraft in WGA’s fleet has varied during the past couple of years from between 12 to 16 aircraft.
Latest information show a fleet of 14, of which two are aging B747-400 freighters and the other twelve are MD-11 freighters. The MD-11s have an average age of between 22 and 24 years.
The airline is privately owned and managed by James (Jim) Neff who acts as President & CEO and Sunny Neff who is the company CFO.
Application has been submitted to the US DOT
It seems that WGA’s managers are intent on going into the scheduled cargo market and have submitted an application to the US Department of Transport (DOT) for a so-called Certificate of Public Convenience and an exemption authority. The application is for the operation of scheduled freight and mail flights from cities within the USA to destinations in China and Hong Kong.
It is not yet clear which customer(s) WGA plans to serve. However the company has stated that it aims to operate services under contract to a specific client who is said to be in desperate need
of weekly freighter flights operated with wide-bodied aircraft into China and Hong Kong.
This seems to be strange news as there are already so many freighter operators flying from the US mainland to China and Hong Kong.
The list is long with around six to seven operators which range from Air China Cargo to National Airlines.
The other side of the coin is that WGA seems to have had some difficulties in gaining charter rights into the above mentioned areas due to the fact that especially China define charter operating rights differently than their American colleagues.
Is then, the scheduled application an attempt to circumvent this problem?
John Mc Donagh