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Airfreight veteran starts another all-cargo carrier

By Adina Solomon

Air cargo veteran James Neff is starting yet another airline.

Neff is beginning operations for Western Global Airlines in September with one MD-11 freighter, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation application May 14. The fleet will be increased to four MD-11 aircraft during its first year of operation.

The airline, which is registered in Sarasota, Fla., will provide wide-body cargo capacity on a leased ACMI basis. The company was formed March 6.

Mark Atwood, Western Global’s attorney at law firm Cozen O’Connor in Washington, D.C., says the DOT is still processing Western Global’s application.

“They have gotten back to us with a few questions, really only very minor ones, which we are about to send in a response,” Atwood says. “Then it’s just a matter of them continuing to work on the file and coming out with a show cause order. We would expect that in due course without too much more delay.”

A show cause order mandates that a corporation make a court appearance to explain why the court should not take a proposed action.

Atwood directed questions about the airline’s freighters to Neff.

Air Cargo World could not reach Neff for comment. No one answered a phone number listed for Western Global on the DOT application, and the airline's website is under construction.

In addition to Western Global, Neff has founded U.S. Turbine Engine Corp., Southern Air and Neff Air. He is now CEO of both Neff Air and Western Global and is chairman of Nordic Global Airlines.

Western Global will share expenses with Nordic Global, of which Neff and his wife Carmit own a 29-percent share.

“Its owners and managers believe Western Global will be able to offer very competitive rates compared to other operators due to its highly experienced management team and the sharing of expenses with its affiliated Finnish carrier, Nordic Global,” the application states. “The shared cost elements are expected to include common contracted flight following/dispatch center, a common engine overhaul and maintenance center, and a common contracted crew supply company.”

Neff acts as Western Global’s CEO and COO, while Carmit is CFO, according to the application. Thomas Quehl is vice president of operations. He previously worked at National Airlines. Jerome Basile, who worked at Southern Air, is director of maintenance. George Boyko, who was a captain at Nordic Global Airlines, serves as chief pilot.

Western Global has no board of directors. The four aircraft that the airline will operate in its first year will be leased to Western Global by Neff Air “at very favorable lease rates,” according to the application.

Total current assets are US$600,000. Western Global, in its filing, said it expects to be profitable during the second half of its first year of operation.