Air Transport World

In for the long haul: Gemini Air Cargo tries to weather the downturn and be ready to take advantage of better days ahead. (Profile).

Ask Gemini Air Cargo CEO Thomas Corcoran how the Washington Dulles-based company has navigated through the turbulence of the past two years and he sums it up in three words: "With great difficulty." Faced with a huge drop in cargo demand, Corcoran says Gemini parked four of its DC-10Fs, representing 25% of its fleet, early last year, although two of those aircraft will be back in service shortly. "We did keep our cash position," he tells ATW.

"Gemini had a difficult time like every other carrier," says Robert Dahl, project director of Seattle-based Air Cargo Management Group. "Traditionally, airfreight grew about 7% a year. What we've seen over the past couple of years--2001, for example--was a drop as high as 10%. We are still about 15% below where people thought we would be in 2003."

Dahl says business began picking up in 2002, owing in part to growth in Asia and the strike by dock workers at US West Coast ports that forced cargo normally shipped by sea into the air. "Presumably the market is recovering and doing better," he says. "There is optimism that things will return to something of a normal condition."

Corcoran is no stranger to aviation, having worked previously for GE and Lockheed Martin, but he admits that actually running an airline is quite different. …

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