Air Canada, others power multicarrier biofuel experiment
ir Canada and three other airlines took steps into the world of biofuels on June 19, operating a series of flights between Canada and South America using planes powered by biofuels. Air Canada's Airbus-supported flight, which was partially fueled by recycled cooking oil, is part of an initiative by the international Civil Aviation Qrganization and was undertaken to correspond with the Rio -F20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. "[The] flight with Air Canada proves that the aviation industry is in a strong position to reduce emissions," Airbus' Fabrice Brégier said in a statement. "To make this a day-to-day commercial reality, it requires now a political will to foster incentives to scale up the use of sustainable biofuels and to accelerate the modernization of the air-traffic-management system. We need a dear endorsement by governments and all aviation stakeholders to venture beyond today's limitations." ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin traveled on the Air Canada flight from Toronto to Mexico City to make his way down to Rio de Janeiro for the summit. But the Toronto-Mexico flight was just one leg of a journey that involved a handful of carriers and the world's top three aircraft manufacturers. Benjamin began his itinerary in Montreal, traveling on flights operated by Air Canada, Porter Airlines, Aeromexico and GOL. "This is truly a world-first series of flights, and one which demonstrates that the whole air transport sector is working together to make significant advances across a range of sustainability issues, so that it can continue to fulfill its role as a catalyst for economic and social development, while reducing its impact on the environment," Benjamin said in a statement, A C W
FedEx will retire freighters due to the company's underwhelming performance
FedEx sees sluggish numbers, packs up freighters
lthough FedEx's revenue rose 3.8 percent, year-overyear, in the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2012, which ended May 31, the U.S.-based integrator saw earnings slide 1.4 percent, year-over-year, to $550 million. Even so, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight performed particularly well in the fourth quarter, with revenues in those segments surging 9 percent and 7 percent, year-over-year, respectively. FedEx Corp. President Frederick W. Smith said recently that the improved performances of FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight throughout the entire financial year, as well as better yields across all business segments, led to "strong earniiig results for fiscal 2012." The integrator's express segment — its most lucrative sector — saw mixed results in the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2012, however. Revenue increased 2.6 percent, year-overyear, to $6.8 billion, although operating profit in the sector fell 34 per-
cent, year-over-year, FedEx Express' average daily package voltame in the U.S. also dropped in the fourth quarter, declining 5 percent, year-over-year. To address such declines, the integrator retired 18 Airbus A310-200 and six Boeing MDlO-10 aircraft, as well as 43 jet engines, from its U.S. Express fieet during the quarter. The retirements led to a non-cash impairment charge of $134 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2012, according to a press release. The 24 recently retired freighters joined the five Boeing 727-200 aircraft FedEx cut from its fleet in the fourth quarter of fiscal-year 2012, according to the press release. This year, there wül be even more capacity cuts, however, with the retirement of 21 B727 aircraft, a measure previously announced. "Along with the decisions to retire these 50 aircraft, we are also developing detailed operating and cost structure plans to further improve our efficiency," David Bronczek, Fe-
16 JULY 2012
dEx Express president and CEO, said in a statement. "We expect to provide additional information on these plans in the fall." The integrator also saw...