FedEx Express is a major global freight carrier headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, with its main hub at Memphis International Airport. Part of FedEx Group, FedEx Express operates to over 370 airports in more than 220 countries and territories globally, from six US and four international hubs. FedEx Express operates a fleet of more than 500 aircraft delivering everything from small packages to heavy freight worldwide.
Location of FedEx main hub (Memphis International Airport)
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Proposed bill for aviation fuel tax expected to impact operations at Chattanooga Metropolitan Airpor
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At CAPA's Americas Aviation Summit held in Las Vegas 27/28 Apr-2015, a distinguished panel, moderated by Mr Kenneth P. Quinn, Senior Aviation partner of Pillsbury Law, discussed at great length the pressing issues around the "White Paper" submitted by three major US airlines to the US government.
The White Paper, promoted by Delta, American and United Airlines, alleges a wide range of subsidy payments have been made to the Gulf airlines by their respective governments, thus breaching the terms of the open skies bilateral agreements between the US and the UAE and Qatar.
This initial report contains a full repeat of the discussions. Those taking part were:
- American Airlines, Senior VP Government Affairs, Will Ris
- Americans for Fair Skies, President, Lee Moak
- Delta Air Lines, Executive VP & Chief Legal Officer, Ben Hirst
- Etihad, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Jim Callaghan
- FedEx Express, Senior VP & General Counsel, Rush O'Keefe
- US Travel Association, President & CEO, Roger Dow
- WTTC, President & CEO, David Scowsill
CAPA will host the largest and most complete public debate on the US-Gulf airlines confrontation, including the major proponents in a moderated discussion over two hours.
The debate, part of CAPA's Americas Aviation Summit in Las Vegas on 27/28 April, will span 2 hours, under the expert guidance of leading US aviation lawyer, Pillsburys' Kenneth P Quinn.
Emirates' President and CEO, Sir Tim Clark, will take part in the debate, along with American's Will Ris, Delta's Ben Hirst, FedEx's Rush O'Keefe, Etihad GC, Jim Callaghan, USTA CEO, Roger Dow, WTTC CEO, David Scowsill and former ALPA President Lee Moak, now President of Americans for Fair Skies.
American and Delta, along with United, have launched a major broadside at the Gulf airlines - Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways - alleging they are unfairly subsidised and seeking restrictions on open skies access. Not all US airlines support the attacks. FedEx, a major beneficiary of the US' open skies policies and the world's largest airline, opposes inroads into the policy. Emirates and Etihad likewise refute the allegations and US and world tourism bodies support the value of the Gulf airlines in improving consumer and business access.
Airlines and airports are feeling the impact of the current global economic weakness and declining consumer spending in Europe, which is having a noticeable impact on air cargo volumes. Cargo traffic, which generated USD66 billion in revenue in 2010, has declined every month since May-2011, according to IATA upon the release of its Oct-2011 traffic results, with a 4.7% year-on-year reduction in cargo demand in Oct-2011 amid reduced manufacturing confidence and businesses switching to slower modes of transport.
“Cargo is the story of the month. Since mid-year the market has shrunk by almost 5% and this is far greater than the 1% fall in world trade. Air freight is among the first sectors to suffer when businesses confidence declines,” IATA director general and CEO Tony Tyler said. Meanwhile, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney separately stated the company has seen a softening of freight demand in recent months, describing the freight market as a “watch item”.
In our examination of US hubs, Memphis stood out as its geography makes it vulnerable to being downsized. The latest announcements from Delta make that outcome more plausible.
US passenger revenue rose 14.4% year-on-year in May-2011, marking the 17th consecutive month of revenue growth, with yields also improving on a recovering economy, according to the Air Transport Association of America.
The US Federal Reserve has downgraded its forecast for US economic growth in 2011 from 3.1-3.3% set in Apr-2011 to 2.7-2.9%, while the outlook for 2012 has been trimmed from a range of 3.5-4.2% to 3.3-3.7%. Unemployment has remained stubbornly high and the Fed now expects an average jobless rate of 8.6-8.9% in 4Q2011, compared with earlier projections of 8.4-8.7%.