American wins AfA Carrier of the Year award

American Airlines Cargo has been named the International Carrier of the Year by the Airforwarders Association (AfA), a trade group that represents the interests of US-based air freight providers.

The award recognises American’s achievement in customer service, on time performance, and reliability and security, alongside other disciplines, and was announced on February 19 during the Air Cargo Conference in Austin, Texas.

“This award is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our team members around the world,” said Rick Elieson, American Airlines Cargo President. “It also shows that our dedication to continual improvement – in our technology, our systems and our processes – is keeping us at the forefront of the industry. Thank you to the AfA for recognizing our efforts, which will only continue this year and beyond.”

This is the first time American has won the AfA International Carrier of the Year award. In 2016, the company was awarded the AfA James Foster Memorial Award, which recognises carriers that exhibit a high level of professionalism and dedication to advancing the airfreight industry.

Gold accolade for Menzies in Mexico

The Menzies team at Del Bajio International airport in Guanajuato (Mexico) has earned Gold Status under United Airlines’ Safety Excellence Programme.

Gold Status is awarded when a station achieves two consecutive years of 10% improvement in the areas of injury, illness and ground damage.United safety award

Sylvia Trost, VP Central and South America, commented: “This important goal could only be achieved due to the excellent teamwork under the leadership of Francisco Melgoza, United Airlines’ Airport Manager, and our Station Manager, Juan Carlos Mondragon. We’re also grateful for the support of Juan’s whole team, our Regional Manager Gildardo Fernandez and Angel Jhaya, our Operations Director for Mexico.”

CUPPS for Mexico

vMUSE_MexicoRockwell Collins’ ARINC vMUSE Common Use Passenger Processing System has been selected by Grupo Aeroportuario del Centro Norte to provide enhanced flexibility of airport resources and passenger check-in at eight Mexican airports.

The vMUSE application is currently operational at Mazatlan and Zihuatanejo airports. By 2019, vMUSE will be installed and operational at Acapulco, Culiacan, Chihuahua, Monterrey, Reynosa and San Luis Potosi.

CUPPS will give the airports more flexibility and allow them to make better use of their facilities; the installation of the systems takes from three to five months.

Logan staff go back to work

The mooted strike action at Logan International did actually go ahead but lasted only two days, with industrial action ending on February 8. 

The workers involved, who handle JetBlue Airways as well as other carriers, convened with state legislators, councillors and the city Governor last week to discuss their grievances. One upshot of the meeting was that officials have now pledged to put pressure on the two employer companies (namely ReadyJet and Flight Services & Systems), as well as JetBlue and the Massachusetts Port Authority, in order to permit workers the chance of organising a union.

New contract for GAT

At Richmond International airport, GAT Airline Ground Support has announced a partnership with Spirit Airlines. Beginning March 15, GAT will be offering ramp services, along with customer services and passenger assistance, thereby enhancing the travel experience for the carrier’s passengers. 

The contract underlines the ongoing interest in outsourced handling provision within the US.

Strike action at Logan?

JetBlue Airways is gearing up for a rough ride over the next few days at Logan International. The bulk of the airline’s contractors, who are employed by ReadyJet and Flight Services and Systems, have been trying for over six years to become members of the 32BJ Service Employees International Union. Their attempts have drawn disapprobation from ReadyJet and Flight Services and Systems; indeed, both these companies have a history of fines for cases of theft and safety violations at the station, and allegedly have used threatening behaviour towards employees looking to unionise. Because of this, upwards of 500 baggage handlers, PRM assistants, skycaps and cabin cleaners are now considering strike action.

According to JetBlue (which supports the concept of a decent living wage), the intended strike will not adversely affect its operations at the airport, since it has subcontracted labour on standby.