25 / 03 / 2013
In American’s full year 2012, results seem to be paying off, with the carrier making an operating profit of US$107m versus a loss of $1.05bn in 2011 on a 3.7 per cent rise in revenue. It still made a net loss of $1.88bn, but that was largely due to $2.2bn in restructuring costs.
Much of his time at the airline has been in finance, sales planning and revenue management, with his most recent role being in charge of global passenger alliances.
“We have even coordinated our Expedite TC [temperature controlled] product with them,” he says. “We have evolved procedures so that we can present our entire network in the US to JAL customers. We don’t offer that product with other partners.”
“But we try to keep it to a small group of carriers. If you are not careful, you can lose the focus on quality.”He also says interlining must be done only if it makes sense for customers – a favourite mantra of his. Asked what his key priorities are for the coming year, he says customer focus and operational integrity.
“If you remain focused on these, then revenue follows. The big story at American Cargo in the coming year will be building on the customer focus and the operational integrity we have and extending from there.”
Every carrier has claims issues – we are not alone in that – but to hear customers talk about how well our claims process works shows that the customer focus is really ingrained in us.”
But, on January 31, a new era of expansion started with the launch of a Dallas to Såo Paulo flight using the first of 15 B777-300ERs that the carrier has on order. The -300 replaced a B777-200ER on the route and, according to Hashimoto, boosted cargo capacity by 10 pallet positions.
“That is a really exciting opportunity for us,” he says. 10 of the aircraft will be delivered by the end of the year.
Later in the year, Dallas to Bogota, Miami to Curtiba and Miami to Port Alegre are on the cards. (Not all of these routes will be operated by B777-300ERs: some will get B777-200ERs released from other routes by the arrival of the -300ERs.)
The carrier already serves more cities in Brazil than any other North American carrier, and has added serv-ices from Dallas to Manaus and JFK to Såo Paulo in the last year.