An American in Europe
American Airlines Cargo is the North American legacy carrier with the largest freight capacity (see page 24 of ITJ 31-35 / 2019), offering 430 weekly widebody links to Europe and 120 to Latin America. ITJ editor Andreas Haug talked to Lisa Oxentine, managing director for global activities and key accounts since 2017, and Jessica Tyler, vice-president for strategy and development since 2018, about the airline’s cargo prospects.
Munich, Berlin, Bologna, Dublin – what’s the outlook for American Airlines Cargo’s new services to and from Europe, ladies? (See also page 26 of ITJ 27-30 / 2019.)
Lisa Oxentine: We’re now in a position to offer our customers more European options. In addition, Munich also needs direct shipment solutions, on top of trucked freight opportunities. This need was confirmed to us in several conversations at Air Cargo Europe.
What about your new route linking Miami FL and Cordoba, the capital of Argentina?
Jessica Tyler: Handling perishable goods is one of the fastest growing business segments for us. In this context we can offer Europe fast connections to and from Latin America through our London – Miami service. So there’s a lot happening – and we’re very excited.
What are your specific roles?
JT: I’ve been with American Airlines Cargo for seven years now; initially I led the team that completed the merger of US Airways and American Airlines Cargo. Now I serve our technology and transformation team, which includes alliances, products and technology transformation – issues that are currently amongst the hottest topics predominating in the industry.
How do you bring your experience to bear in the freight segment?
LO: I’ve been with American Airlines since 1987, but I’ve only been in the cargo business for two years. In the past I was a key player in operations. So it’s all the more fascinating for me now to see how air transport affects the everyday lives of end consumers.
How do you think the business is set to develop overall?
JT: The ongoing uncertainties represent a fundamental part of the current dynamic. 2018 was a phenomenal year for everyone. What I’ve repeatedly heard in numerous discussions is that in times such as these, success essentially comes down to cooperation, strategic considerations and a carrier’s fundamental business relationships. These are factors that enable transparent and open interaction.
LO: Look at it this way – if you ignore a pretty incredible 2018 business year, and compare 2019 with 2017, then the current developments are rather good. The mood of most of people I’ve been talking to remains very positive. Everyone wants to continue to grow, of course. Perhaps we just have to be a little
more creative to attain our goals.
Tell us about your new ideas then, please.
LO: One of them is to go beyond a pure point-to-point approach, and to take advantage of various transfer options that are open to beneficial exploitation. Perhaps we can simultaneously benefit from lower rates. I’m convinced that 2019 will be a successful year!
JT: For my team, digital transformation is key this year. American Airlines has made its largest single investment in cargo ever, in order to improve customer experience; good initial results have already come in, and we’ll continue to reap the benefits from these investments in the decades to come. In two or three years we’ll be talking about digital solutions that go well beyond tracking and tracing and digital platforms.
I’m looking forward to hearing all about it in Munich in 2021.