US cargo carrier Western Global poised for launch

Washington DC
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New US cargo carrier Western Global Airlines intends to “immediately” begin operations after having received final certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“As the first newly-certified US-based widebody air cargo operator in almost a decade, [Western Global] is poised to offer the global marketplace a new large-scale, customer-oriented platform, focused on low cost, flexible service and high reliability,” says the Sarasota (Florida) airline’s chief executive and founder Jim Neff in a statement. “We also expect to benefit from the relative shortage of widebody cargo carriers in the market today.”

A statement released by Western Global on 4 August does not say when the company received FAA certification or specify a date that it will start operations, and a company official did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Documents filed with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) show that Western Global received certification to conduct domestic and international cargo flights in February.

The carrier intends to begin operations using Boeing MD-11 freighters and intends to fly four of those aircraft within its first year of operations, according to documents filed by the airline with the agency.

Those aircraft, which are owned by the Neff family’s company Neff Air, will be leased to Western Global, documents say.

“The plan of the company is to provide widebody cargo capacity on a leased ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) basis to air carriers and freight forwarders in the United States and around the world,” says the application.

Founder Jim Neff has decades of aviation experience, having worked at Southern Air, Burlington Air Express, Emery’s air freight division, Continental Airlines and Flying Tiger Line, according to the application.

He has also been a board member of Finnish cargo carrier Nordic Global Airlines.