An extraordinary quarter century
It was long ago and far away, and the air cargo industry was very different from how it is today. Peter Conway looks at the world Payload Asia was born into, and at how things have changed since.
September 1, 2009
In Asia, freighter fleets were in their infancy: European carriers still dominated the market, and a cargo manager in London Heathrow could still feel as if he was at the centre of the air freight world.
In the Middle East, Dubai was still little more than a village, where everyone knew everyone, and the only high rise building was the World Trade Centre.Dubai airportÃ¢â‚¬™s throughput was no more than 50,000 tonnes, and Emirates Airlineshad not yet been launched.
Whether you were based in London, New York, Hong Kong or Dubai, everyone agrees it was a friendly industry in those days, where business was done over a drink and sealed on a handshake. Stan Wraight, later head of AirBridge Cargo and now an independent consultant, remembers that at Heathrow, lunches lasted two and a half hours, and a head for the UKÃ¢â‚¬™s strange bitter beer was essential.