As a fully certified US Flag Air Carrier since 1948, World Airways has a long history of serving commercial passenger and cargo customers as well as the United States military and foreign governments across six continents. A cargo and passenger combined fleet of 30 aircraft includes B757-200, B767- 300ER, DC10-30, MD11, MD11F and B747-400F aircraft.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the last three years Global acquired five new aircraft: Two 747s, and three former Gemini MD11s,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Falk. Ã¢â‚¬Å“So our cargo fleet has undergone a significant expansion just before challengingeconomic times.Ã¢â‚¬Â The addition of the MD11s allowed World to phase out itsDC10-30F aircraft.
Next to its services for the US military, which represents an important core revenue stream, World offers commercial cargo and passenger customers the flexibility of different types of contracts. The cargo contracts range from ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance), which has been for a long time its core commercial business, to full service charter flights.
New full service offering
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Starting this year, we have been marketing the full service business segment more intensely,Ã¢â‚¬Â Falk comments. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We offer either individual flights or charter programs that can be customised according to customer requirements in line with market demand.Ã¢â‚¬Â Some of WorldÃ¢â‚¬™s charter business comes from its ACMI customers who need supplemental lift for multiple routes. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We find that our charter business compliments our ACMI work,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says.
World operates globally with recent expansion in Asia and the Middle East. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We serve a large carrier located in the Middle-East on an ACMI and traditional charter basis, and recently signed on a number of charter flights and short term ACMI agreement with a major airline in the Far-EastÃ¢â‚¬Â Falk adds.
World is also serving a number of other customers between Europe and Asia with Falk expecting a slow but steady continuation of up turn in Asia based on consumer demand around the world. For the year-end Christmas rush, World already contracted ACMI customers and integrated carriers that are in need of extra capacity. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In relative terms, we are seeing good demand there,Ã¢â‚¬Â Falk adds.
He also points out that that is a seasonal shift in demand in the North Atlantic with relatively more demand eastbound than westbound. In addition, World is experiencing demand northbound from South America. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This can be explained as seasonal because of South AmericaÃ¢â‚¬™s flower and vegetable season,Ã¢â‚¬Â Falk states. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Northbound from Africa is also entering its season high. Current ACMI customers have certain commitments. And we are doing some supplemental flying and charter flying.Ã¢â‚¬Â
What is important to point out, is World customers book the entire aircraft. World does not sell partial loads and does not enter into block space agreements. Unlike some other cargo air carriers, World is not a scheduled service operator. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We are on the wholesale side of the business,Ã¢â‚¬Â Falk explains. That means that other cargo airlines could be potential World customers.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We can offer the B747-400F product to our customers,Ã¢â‚¬Â Falk adds. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But as the majority of GlobalÃ¢â‚¬™s fleet encompasses MD11F aircraft, we can offer this alternative for better operating economics in certain markets. Compared to exclusive 747 operators, our fleet offering provides the flexibility to work with our customerÃ¢â‚¬™s needs.Ã¢â‚¬Â
While no one knows for certain if the ACMI business will increase or decrease, many project that with so many airlines and carriers grounding aircraft and limiting schedules, consequently creating a shortage of capacity, that when demand does occur this will create an increased demand for charter activity. Although all aircraft are occupied and active, not all aircraft are fully utilised all of the time, Falk reveals.