Friday, June 6, 2008

Another Shutdown?

Another casualty in the Cargo arena...

Last week it was ABX and Astar. This week, we heard that Tradewinds just furloughed 70% of its total staff, and is shutting down their B747 operations. I've heard immediate shutdown, and I've heard June 30th. Regardless, it's a considerable impact to an airline their size. No word yet on their A300 North American operation.

Tradewinds (headquartered in GSO) has been a niche player in cargo for almost 40 years, previously flying DC-8's and L1011's, and now operating a thirsty fleet of five 747-200F's and six A300-B4's. Domestically, they were flying out of Aguadilla, PR to IND, BDL, GSO and DFW. They also had some MIA-SJU service. Internationally, they were doing ACMI flying for between Shanghai and BOS/JFK, and Almaty, Kazakhstan to Warsaw via Luxemburg and Dubai.

Total damage? 80 pilots furloughed, with 35 remaining employed to fly the A300 operation. Teamsters were certified as their bargaining agent back in March, but it doesn't appear they had a contract just yet. This isn't going to help things much.

Granted, they're a small player, but they've been around a very, very long time in airline years.

[updated 6/8 with furlough numbers]

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