American Airlines Cargo’s organisation announced an overall cargo traffic growth for 2017, up 15 per cent from the previous calendar year.
This significant improvement followed a year-long effort to continue streamlining the customer experience with the introduction of new self-service tools to automate and improve the booking process alongside further implementation of new services like proactive shipment re-accommodation.
Throughout 2017, the carrier also announced a series of business enhancements regarding its green initiatives, pharma capabilities, infrastructure and additional widebody routes and new destinations.
As if to prove that in life, sometimes timing is everything, Air Cargo Week caught up with American Airlines Cargo (AA Cargo) managing director global and key accounts, Lisa Oxentine on the very day that marked six months to the day she had assumed the role.
She says: “These six months have just flown by! Last year was a great year for AA Cargo and we are very optimistic about 2018 being as good.”
While new to a cargo role at the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier, Oxentine is a 30-year veteran of the passenger side of operations.
Quickly getting a grasp of a number of industry developments that may affect airfreight, Oxentine is least concerned about so-called disruptors. American will still have belly holds to fill so disruption to freight forwarding is not an issue for the carrier.
While many other managers in the industry may be wary of the Millennial, Oxentine looks upon people in their late twenties and early thirties as a great resource for the airline.
She says: “We have quite a few Millennials on our staff. They can be better on technology. Many have actually studied logistics.
“What I most admire is their work/life balance. They are willing to work hard, despite the clichés. They don’t get as stressed as they have different ambitions.”
As part of her role, Oxentine will attend many trade fairs and events, such as the recent IATA World Cargo Symposium.
“I think it is important to recognise that face-to-face meetings are better,” she says. “The cargo business is about getting to know your customer and staff. I actually prefer doing business face-to-face as you can create better relationships.”
Oxentine will have her work cut out in the second half of her first year as managing director global and key accounts. American Airlines is adding four new destinations to its international network for summer 2018.
Providing more bellyhold from Europe to the US and beyond, the airline is introducing service from Philadelphia to Budapest, Hungary, and Prague, Czech Republic; Chicago O’Hare to Venice, Italy; and Dallas/Fort Worth to Reykjavik, Iceland.
As the second largest operator of scheduled widebody and freighter aircraft between the US and Europe, American will operate a total of 427 flights per week to 58 destinations.
The three European capitals – Budapest, Prague and Reykjavik – are all new to the American network while Venice is already connected to the US via service to Philadelphia.