2003 In Review: Air & Express

2003 In Review: Air & Express

Copyright 2003, Traffic World, Inc.

JANUARY

-- James C. May takes helm at Air Transport Association.

-- US Airways releases plan to emerge from bankruptcy.

-- Emery Worldwide Airlines is no more.

-- United Airlines lays off 1,700 workers.



FEBRUARY

-- Deutsche Post Global Mail USA reorganizes U.S. operations.

-- Financial problems at Atlas Air mount as Standard & Poor''s lowers the freight airline''s credit rating.

-- China''s state-owned cargo operator Sinotrans opens itself to private ownership and DHL Express takes a 5 percent stake.

-- Arrow Air acquires Air Global International.



MARCH

-- The International Air Transport Association revives a proposal to change the volume-to-weight ratio airlines use to calculate cargo rates.

-- John Blue is named CEO at Atlas Air in a management shakeup.

-- Deutsche Post''s expansion reaches a new level with DHL''s announcement that it will buy Airborne Express. The airline part of the business will be spun off as ABX Air. John H. Dasburg becomes CEO of DHL Airways.

-- US Airways emerges from bankruptcy as the commercial passenger airline industry shows signs of life in the U.S.



APRIL

-- SARS hits Asia and airlines roll back up to 60 percent of their passenger flights as the public fears the spread of the disease.

-- Atlas reaches a debt restructuring agreement but also postpones a new audit of financial results.

-- FedEx and UPS oppose the DHL/Airborne deal.

-- UPS rebrands Mail Boxes Etc. stores as UPS Stores.



MAY

-- The U.S. Postal Service requires commercial airlines to track mail they carry.

-- John Dasburg announces plans to buy DHL Airways.

-- Aviation Security Advisory Committee working groups begin work on air cargo security recommendations for TSA.

-- TSA hands out new airline stabilization payments, including some to forwarders.



JUNE

-- Distancing itself from its big client, DHL Airways changes its name to AStar Air Cargo.

-- The Defense Department says it won''t oppose raising foreign ownership limit on airlines.

-- FedEx announces an early retirement and buyout plan for employees in the air express unit.



JULY

-- Dasburg group''s $57 million purchase of DHL Airways, now called AStar Air Cargo, is competed.

-- Postal Commission recommends allowing the USPS make a profit.

-- The DOT selects airlines for new Hong Kong rights.



AUGUST

-- The Colography Group reports 2002 was the first year in 18 in which domestic air shipments declined.

-- The Postal Commission recommends USPS track parcels.

-- Among passenger airlines, only Southwest and America West turn a second-quarter profit.

-- Airborne shareholders approve sale of the carrier to DHL.

-- The National Transportation Safety Board says a missing bolt caused the crash of an Emery freighter in 2000.

-- The International Trade Commission begins investigating regulatory conditions U.S. express delivery companies face abroad.



SEPTEMBER

-- Dubai-based airline Emirates debuts in North America with freighter service.

-- DHL lays off nearly 2,900 ground employees.

-- Atlas says it will file for bankruptcy in December.

-- Air cargo security becomes the focus of intense national scrutiny after a man ships himself in a box from New York to Dallas.



OCTOBER

-- Throwing traffic to FedEx and ground services, the USPS says it will sharply limit Christmas Network air contracts.

-- Amerijet International buys Antillas Air.

-- The U.S. and the European Union start aviation treaty talks.

-- The Justice Department fines CNF for Emery Air hazardous materials violations.

-- Air France and KLM announce their intent to merge.



NOVEMBER

-- UPS targets USPS shippers with UPS Basic.

-- A DHL plane is hit by surface-to-air missile in Baghdad.



DECEMBER

-- UPS announces 2004 rates with average increase of 1.9 percent, sharply lower than rate hikes in recent years. FedEx largely follows UPS''s lead.

-- U.S. and Vietnam sign an aviation agreement permitting direct cargo flights but air carriers sit on the sidelines.