Tag Archives: A300F4

UPS’ pilots issue this statement regarding its unresolved contract and the upcoming holiday rush

UPS Airlines’ (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) pilots, represented by the Independent Pilots Association, have issued this statement:

“Will United Parcel Service deliver this Christmas? That’s the question that manufactures, shippers, retailers and consumers have been asking. While we can’t speak to all aspects of UPS’s operations we can say that despite UPS not finalizing our contract we remain committed to delivering this Christmas season,” said Independent Pilots Association spokesperson Brian Gaudet.

Gaudet went on to say, “UPS has done a lot to avoid a repeat of last year’s holiday delivery troubles: it developed and funded a $175 million Peak Plan; finalized its labor contract with the Teamsters; increased its seasonal hires by seventy-three percent. But UPS didn’t do everything it needed to; UPS neglected its air operations by not finalizing the contract with its pilots. We are now in our fourth-year of contract talks with UPS. In spite of this drawn out negotiation, the IPA remains committed to delivering this holiday season. But we encourage UPS, for the benefit of its customers, to close out this critical unfinished business.”

To help make this point the IPA has taken out full-page ads in the Asian, European and Eastern U.S. editions of the October 24 issue of the Wall Street Journal (below).

The Independent Pilots Association represents the professional pilots flying for United Parcel Service.

Top Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300F4-622R N164UP (msn 853) completes its final approach to the runway at Toronto (Pearson).

UPS: AG Slide Show

Ad appearing in the Wall Street Journal:

UPS IPA ad in the WSJ (LR)

 

The NTSB blames the crew for the crash of UPS flight 1354 at Birmingham, Alabama

UPS A300-600F N155UP Crash Birmingham (NTSB)(LRW)

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that UPS flight 1354 crashed because the crew continued an unstabilized approach into Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama. In addition, the crew failed to monitor the altitude and inadvertently descended below the minimum descent altitude when the runway was not yet in sight.

The board also found that the flight crew’s failure to properly configure the on-board flight management computer, the first officer’s failure to make required call-outs, the captain’s decision to change the approach strategy without communicating his change to the first officer, and flight crew fatigue all contributed to the accident.

The airplane, an Airbus A300-600, crashed in a field short of runway 18 in Birmingham on August 14, 2013, at 4:47 a.m. The captain and first officer, the only people aboard, both lost their lives, and the airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. The flight originated from UPS’s hub in Louisville, Kentucky.

“An unstabilized approach is a less safe approach,” said NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart. “When an approach is unstable, there is no shame in playing it safe by going around and trying again.”

The NTSB determined that because the first officer did not properly program the flight management computer, the autopilot was not able to capture and fly the desired flight path onto runway 18. When the flight path was not captured, the captain, without informing the first officer, changed the autopilot mode and descended at a rate that violated UPS’s stabilized approach criteria once the airplane descended below 1,000 feet above the airport elevation.

As a result of this accident investigation, the NTSB made recommendations to the FAA, UPS, the Independent Pilots Association and Airbus. The recommendations address safety issues identified in the investigation, including ensuring that operations and training materials include clear language requiring abandoning an unstable approach; the need for recurrent dispatcher training that includes both dispatchers and flight crews; the need for all relevant weather information to be provided to pilots in dispatch and enroute reports; opportunities for improvement in fatigue awareness and management among pilots and operators; the need for increased awareness among pilots and operators of the limitations of terrain awareness and warning systems — and for procedures to assure safety given these limitations.

A synopsis of the NTSB report is available at: http://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/2013/birmingham_al/birmingham_al.html

Top Copyright Photo: NTSB.

UPS Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. N155UP is pictured on the cargo ramp at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before the tragic accident. Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP (msn 841) crashed on August 14, 2013 while on approach from the north to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The crew was operating cargo flight 5X 1354 from the Louisville hub to Birmingham. The two crew members were tragically killed in the crash.

UPS pilots want cargo pilots to be included in Part 117 regulations due to crew fatigue

UPS Airlines’ (United Parcel Service) (Atlanta and Louisville) pilots, represented through the Independent Pilots Association, have issued this statement concerning the current regulations excluding cargo pilots from Federal crew rest standards:

On the eve of the first anniversary of the fatal crash of United Parcel Service Flight 1354, UPS pilots are calling for an end to the carve-out of all-cargo airline operators from FAR Part 117, the new pilot rest and operating rules enacted by Congress. On August 14, 2013, at 4:47 AM CDT, UPS Flight 1354 crashed on approach to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, killing Captain Cerea Beal, Jr. and First Officer Shanda Fanning.

“What we didn’t know then, but suspected, was the role fatigue played in this accident,” said Captain Robert Travis, President of the Independent Pilots Association. “Once the Cockpit Voice Recorder transcripts were released there was no doubt. Cerea and Shanda told us on the CVR* that they were fatigued and wanted one level of safety in commercial aviation.”

Part 117, which became effective for passenger carriers on January 4, is the first major revision of pilot flight and duty limits and rest requirements in 60 years. This new rule is science-based and designed to mitigate fatigue among commercial pilots. Disturbingly, all-cargo airlines are carved out of Part 117 for “political” reasons, as noted last week by the FAA’s Federal Air Surgeon, Dr. James Fraser.

“This carve-out puts our nation’s entire aviation system at risk,” said Jim Hall, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. “A tired pilot is a tired pilot, regardless of the plane he or she may be flying. By excluding cargo pilots from Part 117, the FAA is failing to adhere to its mission of making safety the first priority in aviation. If the FAA believes even one life lost in an accident is too many, the principle should also apply to cargo pilots.”

From the moment the FAA announced the cargo carve-out, the IPA has fought to reverse it. This includes suing the FAA.

“We had no choice but to lead this fight,” said Travis. “The crash of UPS Flight 1354 has intensified our efforts. Tragically, Capt. Beal said to our Scheduling Committee Chairman just before the fatal flight, ‘these schedules over the past several years are killing me.’ We owe it to Cerea and Shanda, their families and every pilot, whether flying passengers or packages, to end this dangerous exclusion. As we mark this difficult anniversary, I call on the FAA to end the cargo carve-out and apply one level of safety to all commercial aviation.”

Copyright Photo: Ken Petersen/AirlinersGallery.com. Airbus A300F4-622R N155UP (msn 841) crashed on August 14, 2013 while on approach from the north to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, Birmingham, Alabama. The crew was operating cargo flight 5X 1354 from the Louisville hub to Birmingham. N155UP is pictured on the cargo ramp at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport before the tragic accident.

UPS:

FedEx Corporation reports third quarter operating income of $589 million, down 28% from $813 million last year

FedEx Corporation (FedEx Express) (Memphis) today reported earnings of $1.23 per diluted share for the third quarter ended February 28, excluding business realignment costs totaling $47 million primarily related to the company’s voluntary buyout program for eligible U.S. officers and managing directors. Including this year’s realignment costs, third quarter earnings were $1.13 per diluted share.

Last year’s third quarter earnings were $1.55 per diluted share, excluding a $0.10 per share reversal of a reserve associated with a legal matter at FedEx Express. Including last year’s reserve reversal, earnings were $1.65 per diluted share.

“The third quarter was very challenging due to continued weakness in international air freight markets, pressure on yields due to industry overcapacity and customers selecting less expensive and slower-transit services,” said Frederick W. Smith, FedEx Corp. chairman, president and chief executive officer. “In response, beginning April 1, FedEx Express will decrease capacity to and from Asia and will aggressively manage traffic flows to place low yielding traffic in lower-cost networks. We are currently assessing how these actions may allow FedEx Express to retire more of its older, less-efficient aircraft. We remain focused on our strategic cost reduction programs, which are ramping up and on track.”

Third Quarter Results

FedEx Corp. reported the following consolidated results for the third quarter:

• Revenue of $11.0 billion, up 4% from $10.6 billion the previous year

• Operating income of $589 million, down 28% from $813 million last year

• Operating margin of 5.4%, down from 7.7% the previous year

• Net income of $361 million, down 31% from $521 million a year ago

As discussed above, the quarter’s results reflect the decline in profitability at FedEx Express due to the accelerating demand shift toward lower-yielding international services and lower international export yields. The quarter’s results were also negatively impacted by the business realignment costs noted earlier and by fewer operating days in each transportation segment.

Outlook

FedEx projects earnings to be an adjusted $1.90 to $2.10 per diluted share in the fourth quarter and an adjusted $6.00 to $6.20 per diluted share for fiscal 2013 before charges related to the company’s business realignment. Costs of the benefits provided under the voluntary buyout program will be recognized in the period that eligible employees accept their offers, predominantly in the fourth fiscal quarter. Including the third quarter costs, the company now expects the fiscal 2013 pretax cost of the voluntary buyout program to range from approximately $450 million to $550 million in cash expenditures, or $0.89 to $1.09 per diluted share, with some additional costs expected in fiscal 2014. Actual costs will depend on employee acceptance rates. Including the business realignment costs, earnings are expected to be $0.94 to $1.34 per diluted share in the fourth quarter and $4.91 to $5.31 per diluted share for fiscal 2013. This guidance assumes the current market outlook for fuel prices. The capital spending forecast for fiscal 2013 is now $3.6 billion, compared to $3.9 billion in the company’s previous forecast.

In last year’s fourth quarter, the company reported earnings of $1.99 per diluted share, excluding a $0.26 per diluted share non-cash aircraft impairment charge at FedEx Express. Including this charge, earnings were $1.73 per diluted share.

“Our lower-than-expected results for the quarter and reduced full-year earnings outlook were driven by third quarter international revenues declining approximately $100 million versus our guidance primarily due to accelerating customer preference for lower-yielding international services, lower rate per pound and weight per shipment,” said Alan B. Graf Jr., FedEx Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer. “We expect these international revenue trends to continue. We have other actions under way beyond those already included in our profit improvement program. Some of these additional actions may involve temporarily or permanently grounding aircraft, which could result in asset impairment or other charges in future periods.”

“In early February, a number of officers and managing directors, primarily at FedEx Services and FedEx Express, accepted voluntary buyouts, and on February 15, thousands more team members were notified of their eligibility for the buyout program. This program is one of the first steps in a process that will help FedEx Express achieve necessary cost structure reductions and improved efficiency. In addition to continued profit improvements in the base businesses at FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, our profit improvement programs are targeting annual profitability improvement at FedEx Express of $1.6 billion by the end of fiscal 2016, from the fiscal year 2013 base business. Collectively, these initiatives are expected to increase margins, improve cash flows and increase our competitiveness,” said Graf.

Stock Repurchase Program Authorization Increase

The FedEx Corp. board of directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 10 million shares of FedEx Corp. common stock. These shares augment the remaining 188 thousand shares authorized for purchase under existing share repurchase programs. It is expected that the additional share authorization will primarily be utilized to offset equity compensation dilution over the next several years. Purchases may be made in the open market and in negotiated or block transactions. FedEx had 317 million shares outstanding as of February 28, 2013.

FedEx Express Segment

For the third quarter, the FedEx Express segment reported:

• Revenue of $6.70 billion, up 2% from last year’s $6.54 billion

• Operating income of $118 million, down 66% from $349 million a year ago

• Operating margin of 1.8%, down from 5.3% the previous year

Revenue increased due to this year’s business acquisitions and growth at FedEx Trade Networks, while core express revenue was constrained by continued demand shift toward lower-yielding international services. U.S. domestic revenue per package grew 1% as higher rate per pound and weight per package were offset by lower fuel surcharges, while average daily package volume increased 1%. Higher growth in international deferred services continued, with FedEx International Economy® volume growing 12%, while FedEx International Priority® volume increased 2% during the quarter. International export revenue per package fell 3% due to the demand shift to lower-yielding international services, lower rates and lower fuel surcharges.

Operating income and margin were significantly lower due to the demand shift to lower-yielding international services, the prior year reversal of a $66 million reserve associated with a legal matter, the negative impact of one fewer operating day, higher pension cost and increased depreciation expense. Costs associated with the business realignment program also negatively impacted operating results by $34 million.

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Airbus A300F4-605R N689FE (msn 875) lands at Baltimore/Washington.

FedEx Express: AG Slide Show