GSCW chat recap: Stan Wraight’s cargo advice for airlines

A cargo pallet rests on the ground in front of a big jet engine.

FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Air Cargo Market Trends & Outlook

DETAILS: Stan Wraight is a legend in the air cargo industry. He’s held leadership positions at big cargo airlines and now advises airlines, airports, logistics companies and other parties on how to manage airfreight issues. In this interview with FreightWaves Air Cargo Editor Eric Kulisch, he talks about market conditions shippers and carriers are facing, digitization initiatives, the prolific use by airlines of “preighters,” e-commerce, and pharma shipments for COVID vaccines.

SPEAKER: Stan Wraight, CEO, president and co-founder of Strategic Aviation Solutions International. 

BIO: Stanley Wraight is the co-founder of Strategic Aviation Solutions (SASI),  which provides consulting and management services for airlines, airports, international trade organizations and financial institutions. He has over 40 years of senior air cargo management experience in operations and marketing management, as well as CEO or board-level experience with four major global cargo airlines. His background includes vice president of Global Cargo Sales and Marketing for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines; senior vice president of sales and marketing for Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings; and leading the team that founded Volga Dnepr’s AirBridgeCargo in 2003, which has grown to be a global scheduled cargo operator.


“You’re not going to see a rebound in the passenger market before 2024 or 2025. … I don’t see the borders opening up for international leisure travel, other than for what we call visiting friends and relatives, and we’re going to see business travel plummet as well. In my case, I’m a 150,000- to 200,000-mile-a-year guy. I haven’t flown since last January, and that’s the first time in 50 years I can say that.”

“The bigger airplanes are going to struggle getting back into the air if they’re totally dependent on passengers, unless there is a significant contribution of cargo in the belly.”

“Airlines have to get into the business of being able to make enough money in the lower deck of their airplanes and sustain that for years to come. And that means they have to up their game and what they’re offering to the market. They have to change their attitude. You cannot survive in the future if you’re going to give cheap prices to third parties and expect the airplanes to fly again. They have to make a fantastic return on investment.”

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.