Western Global granted rights to operate scheduled U.S.-China service

Despite opposition from Atlas Air, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) granted Western Global Airline rights to operate scheduled foreign air transportation of property and mail between any points in the U.S., via any intermediate points, to any point or points in China, and vice versa.

Atlas Air had argued that Western Global’s proposed scheduled all-cargo service constituted a “substantial change in operations necessitating a DOT fitness review under Part 204.” Atlas also brought into question Western Global’s financial fitness, requesting that the USDOT ascertain “whether Western Global meets the Department’s financial fitness standards,” according to the filing.

Western Global responded that, while its request counted as a substantial change in operations, the carrier was not actually proposing “a change in an operational sense.” Western Global asserted that it would be operating with the same aircraft and crews that are being used for its current charter operations, and “transporting cargo under a charter contract with a freight forwarder customer.”

On June 7, the USDOT ultimately sided with Western Global, and while nobody from the carrier was available to comment, the permission grants the Florida-based all-cargo carrier access to one of the busiest air cargo corridors in the world, and means even more freighters plying the skies between the two countries.

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