Air Freight's Top Global Operators

Air freight is on an upward trajectory following a turbulent few months in the industry. Firstly, the economic crisis impacted significantly upon this part of the supply chain. Then, earlier in the year, the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano eruption almost devastated the sector.

With the closure of airspace and the grounding of planes over that airspace, the supply chain came to a complete standstill.

However, if anything positive came out of that incident it was the recognition of the vital part that air freight plays in the entire supply chain. In June, results published by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA), which represents 23 carriers in the Asia-Pacific region, showed that the Asia-Pacific air freight industry had seen demand soar 39 percent in May. International air freight demand increased to 5.7 billion freight ton kilometers in the same month, from 4.1 billion in May 2009.

The world's largest air freight carrier, Korean Air, has seen similar success this year. It reported cargo revenue growth of more than 50 percent in the first quarter of this year -- its highest ever first quarter operating profit. First quarter cargo revenue generated from Korea surged 134 percent.

With that in mind, SupplyChain Digital has profiled some of the biggest names in air freight: UPS Air Cargo, Lufthansa Cargo, FedEx Express and DHL Air Freight. Their vital statistics prove just why they rule the skies. -

UPS Air Cargo
Employees: 20,513
Revenue: £42.6 billion (2008)
President: Robert L. Lekites
Air Fleet: 292 chartered aircraft, 264 UPS jet aircraft
Service Area: More than 200 countries and territories
Average Daily Volume: 2.1 million packages and documents
Airports Served: 400 domestic, 435 international

- FedEx Express
Employees: 140,000
Revenue: £21.6 billion (includes FedEx Trade Networks)
CEO & President: David J. Bronczek
Air Fleet: 664 aircraft
Service Area: More than 220 countries and territories
Average Daily Volume: 3.5 million packages, 11 million pounds of freight
Airports Served: More than 375 - DHL Air Freight
Employees: 100,000
Revenue: 10.3 billion Euros
CEO: Ken Allen
Air Fleet: Unknown
Service Area: More than 220 countries and territories
Average Daily Volume: 2,000 tonnes per night (European Air Transport Leipzig)
Airports Served: 50 domestic, 500 international - Lufthansa Cargo
Employees: 4,568
Revenue: 1.95 billion euros
Chairman: Carsten Spohr
Air Fleet: 19 of own MD-11F aircraft
Service Area: Over 300 destinations worldwide
Average Yearly Volume: 1.52 million tons of freight and mail (2009)
Airports Served: Unknown

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