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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 650 aircraft to deliver everything from small packages to heavy freight worldwide.
Location of FedEx main hub (Memphis International Airport)
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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%.
Delta Air Lines became the world's largest carrier by traffic in 2010, according to IATA, with Southwest Airlines remaining the largest domestic carrier and Ryanair still the largest international carrier by passengers. Delta’s consolidation with Northwest Airlines boosted Delta past Southwest and American Airlines based on combined international and domestic passenger numbers.
Several airports in north-east Japan have been affected by Friday’s devastating earthquake and tsunamis. None more so than Sendai Airport, which was flooded when the tsunami struck, and remains closed. Major gateways including Tokyo Narita and Haneda resumed normal operations on Saturday.