Air Transport World

Seizing the moment. (Challenge Air Cargo) (includes related article about Latin American air cargo market) (Company Profile)

Challenge Air Cargo already is one of the largest cargo operators out of Miami International Airport - which is, in itself, the fourth busiest U.S. airport for cargo.

Last year, Challenge handled 83,257 tons of cargo at Miami, giving it 9% of the total tonnage into that airport and making it second only to TAMPA, which handled 86,037 tons. Challenge had a pretax profit of $4.7 million, and $3 million net profit, on revenues of $65.5 million last year, a 17% increase in revenues and 10% increase in cargo carried over 1990.

Challenge has shown an average tonnage growth of 22% since 1989, with a major factor being the introduction of new 757-200Fs to replace its aged DC8-63Fs and a 707-320C. It was one of the first cargo airlines to operate the 757 as a pure freighter. The airline took delivery of its first 757F in mid-1989 and its third this past spring. The aircraft are leased from Ansett Worldwide Aviation.

A fourth 757F is planned for the end of next year, with a fifth being considered for late 1994 or early 1995, according to CAC President Bill Spohrer.

The DC-8s are gone and the 707 is used as a backup aircraft and for charter work, although it is for sale. "We hope to be out of the old-aircraft market by next year," Spohrer said. He added that he sees "real economic progress" in Latin America and has taken major steps to ensure that his airline continues to grow as that market grows. …

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