NWA Cargo?

FBN0223

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With rumors of yet more downsizing of the B747F fleet in ANC, what will be the future of NWA Cargo?

1) Continue on it's current trend and soon vanish with the merger via Delta management pulls the plug.

2) Continue on it's current trend and soon vanish via the customers pull the plug due to poor service.

3) RA and crew resurrect NWA Cargo with new aircraft B747-400BCF or possibly the B767F?

At one time NWA had 14 freighters, accounting for 10% of NWA revenue.
 

jtf

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I have no idea what they will do, but if the combined management has a half a brain they will do their best to improve the service and grow it with more efficient aircraft. Most foreign carriers make big bucks with cargo and now NWA is the only US passenger airline that still has some dedicated cargo aircraft. I think they would be idiots to just give it away. EVA has flights from Taipei to LAX and SFO in aircraft that are converted to carry half pax and half cargo containers. There are ways to efficiently carry air cargo if that has been part of their problem. I'd imagine that with the amount of flights they do from at least 7 or 8 US airports to NRT, they could figure out a way to carry more cargo by converting some newer 747s to a part pax/ part container configuration and use those instead of the A330s they are using on many of the routes now. That way they could cut a little capacity (driving up prices), while still operating as many flights and also adding cargo containers to further bring profit to the flights. Or maybe I'm just talking out my @ss and what works for others won't work for them.
 

General Lee

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The rumors I have heard seemed to state that the cargo ops will go away, and that they are currently keeping it for the NRT slots..... I would rather have a cargo division though, because sometimes CARGO can make big bucks.

Bye Bye---General Lee
 
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Superpilot92

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Dunno?
everyone knows there's no money in Cargo! :cool:

Hopefully they dont stop something that can bring in loads of money.
 

clippyrip

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If you were trying to figure out what is going to happen from what can be seen on the ramp, then I would guess its going away. Things may change as the merger progresses but what I see on the ramp up here in ANC does not bode well for the cargo division. I live up here and with that as a vested interest, I want to see it last but my trust is starting to wane....
 

~~~^~~~

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Clippyrip,

Who is flying Alaska cargo, if it isn't NWA? That has always been a big market. Is the traffic bypassing ANC?
 

ACL65PILOT

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I think that the powers that be are rethinking the whole cargo deal.
I would venture to bet that the 742's are going bye bye but that may be a good thing.
 

woody

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I heard they put Neal Shaw in charge of cargo. (The same guy that took United's fledgling cargo hub in ANC apart) It sounds like Delta for now has no interest in Maindeck cargo. I also heard that DHL and the cargo manager in ANC negotiated a huge new contract but upper management (Steenland) put the kabash on it. Also China air was recently told that NWA will not renew their contract for ground handling and Pegasus will be taking over. It looks like the begining of the end of what used to be prosperous segment of NWA. Its going to be sad to see this go away! What a HUGE waste!
 

ThisistheDream

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NWA stated that there could be some ANC position displacements to MSP if the cargo ops take a cutback which may happen. Then MSP could be overstaffed in the cargo 747 positions. I beleive in MSP they do a lot of military charters which pay well!!!! and other odd ball type charters..
 

RJAA

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NWA is light years behind in the Pacific cargo market. JAL, ANA, and NCA have been either buying or converting to cargo planes left and right and are the dominant players. They don't even stop in ANC anymore. There is also FDX which is a large player. KE is major in cargo out of ICN. This is already a lost battle. NWA neglected its cargo division for far too long. Converting the B744s to cargo is an idea but Delta probably would want to keep them for pax service somewhere within their combined route structure (not necessarily in the pacific) There is probably a long wait for the conversion too. Speaking of NRT slots, they certainly have more than it can handle right now and if they don't use them, they lose them. FDX and UPS would eat them up. It's funny how NWA leases a couple of slots to one of the major competitors too, for passenger service.
 
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clippyrip

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Clippyrip,

Who is flying Alaska cargo, if it isn't NWA? That has always been a big market. Is the traffic bypassing ANC?
Are you asking about the cargo that comes and stays or about cargo going through the state?

Cargo is still strong going through ANC but NWA is becoming less and less a player. Most of the cargo that I have seen on NWA seems to come in from Asia destined for the lower 48 and vise versa. They still bring in a large amounts for AK but the real issue is NWAs marketing, sales and management of the cargo product. Our maintenance was killing us for a while...supposedly that has been resolved with a more dedicated maintenance division and a hanger in ANC.

Alaska Air has a strong cargo division but Alaskas biggest cargo suppliers are the barges that come into the port of Anchorage. On the air side of things, the usual suspects all have a part...World, Kalitta, Polar, etc.

I believe Alaska and Hawaii are the only two states in the union that allow cargo to come into the state and change planes and leave the state without ever having to visit customs. So long as the cargo is not destined for the state, it bypasses customs until its next port of US entry. That is one of the big reasons UPS and FEDEX have made it a strong hub. Its a shorter flight from Asia which means more cargo and less gas. Also, when it hits ANC they can switch the loads to appropriate planes to different parts of the US with out having to deal with customs. Very handy.

Ultimately, I don't see how cargo is not a money maker. We have full loads from what I have seen. Sometimes I wonder if its a matter of how the books are cooked...a shell game of hiding the nut or maybe robbing Peter to pay Paul. Cargo has always been the red headed step child and ANC is always discussed when the budget is an issue. They have been talking about closing this place for ten years. I guess we will wait and see. If it is up to me, I will fly the last flight out of this base strait to the desert.
 
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General Lee

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NWA is light years behind in the Pacific cargo market. JAL, ANA, and NCA have been either buying or converting to cargo planes left and right and are the dominant players. They don't even stop in ANC anymore. There is also FDX which is a large player. KE is major in cargo out of ICN. This is already a lost battle. NWA neglected its cargo division for far too long. Converting the B744s to cargo is an idea but Delta probably would want to keep them for pax service somewhere within their combined route structure (not necessarily in the pacific) There is probably a long wait for the conversion too. Speaking of NRT slots, they certainly have more than it can handle right now and if they don't use them, they lose them. FDX and UPS would eat them up. It's funny how NWA leases a couple of slots to one of the major competitors too, for passenger service.
JALCargo and NCA don't stop in ANC anymore? Really? I think you haven't been up there in awhile... And, rumors are out there stating Delta might start more PAX service to NRT, including SLC and BOS as new nonstops with A330s, along with resumption of JFK service eventually.

Bye Bye--General Lee
 

Bert Harbenson

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A few weeks ago DL's VP of Flight Ops was in the crew lounge answering questions. The future post-merger status of the cargo operation was brought up. He stated that the cargo ops were mainly being used to hold slots in NRT and as the new company could focus more passenger flights into the area the prospect of keeping a cargo-only operation was dim.
 

AC560

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There is also FDX which is a large player
FX/5X are seasonal players at best in the hard cargo market. Their business is small pack. NW's business is hard cargo. Two very different products.

What NW still has to a large extent is people who know what they are doing in the field operations. KE/JL/BR/etc. all sub-contract cargo operations. If you are loading a $50M one of a kind Intel Chip Fab which requires the aircraft to not pitch more then X degrees, not pull more then X g's, etc. that is something NW can do (PO to some extent but most of their old FT talent has since fled or retired).

No doubt NW has had some mis-steps as of late but they do have a strong product with proper investment would be an unbeatable product. Sadly (and no offense intended to DL pilots) DL's cargo operations are horrible at best. They don't really effectively understand how to sell belly cargo (compared to an AA) let alone how to deal with freighters, cargo hubs, dangerous goods (real DG's not dry ice), animals (something other then a dog), etc. I suspect they will spin the division off at some point personally it would bring a lot of cash. Probably won't be a good deal for a lot of employees though.
 

clippyrip

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I don't really see what we have to sell or spin off. The 747-200s are almost done and we are keeping the routes. Many of the pilots would love UPS to come in and offer us brown uniforms, but what would they be taking over?
 
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AC560

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I don't really see what we have to sell or spin off.
Depends on what gets bundled up. I am not sure how all the fifth freedom stuff out of Japan works entirely for NW. I could though see Atlas or Kalitta being interested in scooping the right combination of stuff up.

It really is a shame because over the past 20yrs the part of the airline industry to take the biggest beating is the cargo side. Which is ironic because for a lot of the passenger airlines it was the only thing making money.
 

FBN0223

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I could though see Atlas or Kalitta being interested in scooping the right combination of stuff up.
Not in Kalitta's business plan. They are a non-scheduled supplemental carrier. In short, they fly stuff on routes already established by other major carriers. Exceptions to this are military flying and charters.
 
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another cfii

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I wonder the reason they're re-evaluating the whole deal with freight flying is because they need all the lift they could get in the very near future, so there's no room for this "side business"?

It's very sad to see an end to NWA's freighters. If Glen and his gangs need all the a/c they need for pax growth, I'm all behind him. But I think as soon as we have a foothold, we definitely need to take a long look at all the freight business losing out to the overseas operators.
 
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