Western Global Airlines asks DOT for authorization to expand its fleet
The contract freight operator Western Global Airlines has asked the Ministry of Transportation to lift the cap on the number of planes it can operate in order to be able to develop under favorable growth conditions for air freight.
The Estero, Florida-based company has operated under DOT authority for seven years, but says its profitability and safety record demonstrate it no longer needs close government oversight. Customers include UPS express carriers (NYSE: UPS) and DHL, the postal service, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), logistics providers, government agencies and the US Department of Defense.
“As Western Global has been operating very successfully for the past seven years and meets or exceeds all suitability criteria, the company respectfully submits that a condition limiting the size of its fleet is no longer necessary. Removing the condition will help facilitate the continued and orderly growth of Western Global and alleviate administrative burdens for the department and Western Global, ”he said in a September 8 filing.
The practice of DOT is to monitor new market entrants for the first five years and limit fleet growth while the carrier’s management and technical staff gain experience in operations.
Western Global operates 12 MD-11s and three freighters converted to Boeing 747s, but has clearance for 19 aircraft in its fleet. The company said it has acquired six more planes it plans to deploy once the Federal Aviation Administration verifies that they are in compliance with the Western approved operating program. Western has three other planes which are used only as a source of spare parts.
The app also provides a window into the financial performance of the private company, which is controlled by the Neff family. Western Global generated $ 375.5 million in operating income last year, compared to $ 241.2 million in operating income in 2019 and $ 253.6 million in 2018. Net income in 2020 was climbed to $ 122.4 million last year from $ 16 million the year before.
Western Global’s request to remove fleet limits has been first reported by Air Cargo World.
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