||WESTERN GLOBAL AIRLINES
||+941 907 6810
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Formed in 2013 and started operations in 2014. Domestic, regional, & international, scheduled & charter, cargo jet airplane operations and wet-lease (ACMI) services.
9260 Estero Park Commons Blvd
Estero, FL 33928, Florida, USA
May 2013: One favorite subject of conversation at air freight industry get-togethers these days is the demise of the all-cargo long-haul airline. Whenever another all-cargo carrier goes out of business (Air Cargo Germany (ACG) is the latest) someone is sure to say: “When even the big players like Cargolux (CLX), Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA), and AirBridge (ABC) are losing money, there’s no hope for the little guys.” But that has not deterred two recent start-ups – one in Europe and one in the USA.
In the USA, Western Global Airlines (WGA) has applied to the Department of Transport (DOT) for authority to operate in both domestic and international service, while in Europe, Aerospace One (registered in Greece) claims to have already begun operations from a base in Châteauroux (France). The 2 share some interesting similarities: both have been launched by industry veterans who already run other all-cargo airlines, both plan to operate in the charter and wet-lease (ACMI) markets, rather than in scheduled service, and both plan to start operations with a single freighter. We start with Western Global Airlines (WGA).
If the name “Western Global Airlines” seems familiar, you are on the right track. Western Global Airlines (WGA) is the latest venture of Jim Neff, whose résumé stretches back to the Flying Tigers, and includes founding and running Southern Air (SOF). However, for the last two years he has been Chairman of Helsinki-based, Nordic Global Airlines (NGA) (in which he and his wife, through a trust, own a 29% stake). He is also Founder (in 2010) and (CEO) of Neff Air LLC (for more about Neff Air, read on).
In its application to the (DOT), (WGA) said it intended to launch operations this September with a single MD-11F, with the fleet increasing to 4 MD-11Fs “during the 1st year of operation.” Regarding the source of the 4 freighters, (WGA) said: “These airplanes are currently owned by 4 special-purpose limited liability companies that are owned entirely by James and Carmit Neff, and will be leased to (WGA) by Neff Air, which manages the airplane, at very favorable lease rates.” The application does not specify the particular airplane, but "Cargo Facts" believes they are likely (48512) and (48513) (both currently operated by Nordic Global (NGA)), (48435) (ex-World Airways (WLD), formerly owned by (CIT) Leasing (TCI)), and (48543) (ex-China Cargo (CKK), formerly owned by (BBAM)). If these are in fact the 4 freighters to be operated by Western Global (WGA), then it means a significant decrease in the (NGA) fleet, from 4 MD-11Fs to 2.
The main focus of (WGA) appears to be wet-lease (ACMI) operation for other carriers, but the application also specifies charter operation. Given that the company appears to be avoiding scheduled service, it may well succeed (particularly if it has some contracts already lined up). Another factor that may contribute to success is that (WGA) will share some expenses with Nordic Global (NGA). In its application, the company says: “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. These cooperative relations will help minimize costs to both companies.”
May 2014: Western Global Airlines (based at Sarasota/Bradenton) (WGA) has applied to the USA Department of Transportation for permission to begin domestic and foreign operations. Established by a former Southern Air ((IATA) Code: 9S, based at Cincinnati International) (SOF) Founder and (CEO), James K Neff, (WGA) plans to launch with a single MD-11F, growing to 4 by the end of its 1st operational year. Overall, commencing late 2013, (WGA) plans to provide wide body cargo capacity and to offer wet-lease (ACMI) services to clients using MD-11F airplanes.
August 2014: Western Global Airlines (WGA) will soon launch operations using a 1st MD-11F (48435, N284WA), formerly with World Airways ((IATA) Code: WO, based at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) (WLD). The airplane is currently undergoing pre-service entry maintenance checks at Singapore Paya Lebar, having been in storage at Mojave.
August 2014: Western Global Airlines (WGA) has secured its Part 121 Air Operators Certificate (AOC) with plans to commence both local and international cargo flights shortly.
The company will begin operations with a fleet of 2 MD-11Fs (48415, N415JN, 48435, N435KD) leased from Neff Air, an affiliated leasing company, which owns 10 MD-11Fs and 2 747-400Fs. Later, (WGA) launched operations with its 1st MD-11F (48435, N435KD), now operating air cargo service. As previously reported earlier, a 2nd of the type, (48415, N415JN) is also set to make its début in due course.
Western Global Airlines (WGA) intends to offer both local and international cargo flights in partnership with its Finnish sister carrier, Nordic Global Airlines ((IATA) Code: NJ, based at Helsinki Vantaa) (NGB). MD-11F (48435, N435KD) currently operates for Nordic Global (NGB).
James Neff and his wife Carmit, own 29% shares in Western Global Airlines (WGA). James Neff is also Chairman of Nordic Global Airlines (NGB).
February 2016: "USA Jet Seized in Zimbabwe Released after Flight Crew, Cash, Cleared" by AP, February 20, 2016.
Zimbabwean authorities have released a USA-registered cargo jet that was impounded earlier this week after a dead body and cash was found aboard.
Police spokeswoman, Charity Charamba said Saturday that police and immigration officials allowed the crew to return to South Africa.
She said the plane was transporting 67 tons of South African currency, belonging to South Africa's central bank. Charamba said the money was also returned to South African authorities.
Charamba said the MD-11 trijet, owned by Florida-based, Western Global Airlines (WGA), was travelling from Germany to South Africa, when it stopped in the Zimbabwean capital Harare to refuel. Authorities noticed blood dripping from the plane.
Charamba said the dead person was likely a stowaway. A post-mortem report found that the person had died from asphyxiation.
August 2016: MD-11F (48630, N630SN), seen at Oscoda, USA, in basic Lufthansa Cargo (LUB) colors.
August 2018: Western Global Airlines (WGA) changed the livery of 1 of its 747-446s (1026-26356, N356KD). The 1994-built 747-446 now wears large "WESTERN GLOBAL" titles in blue with the company logo on its tail.
Click below for photos:
WGA-MD-11F - 2015-08.jpg
2 747-446 BCF (26344, N344KD; 1026-26356, /94 N356KD), 2018-04. FREIGHTER.
1 MD-11F (CF6-80C2) (453-48411 /94 N382WA; 454-48412, /94 N412SN), EX-(N383WA). FREIGHTER
1 MD-11F (CF6-80C2) (48546, N546JN), EX-(OH-NGB). FREIGHTER.
4 MD-11F (CF6-80C2) (576-48415, /94 N415JN; 478-48435, /92 N435KD; 529-48512, /93 N512JN; 564-48513, /94 N513SN), NEFF AIR LEASED 2014-07. 48415; EX-(EVA) AIR, EX-(B-16103). 48435; EX-NORDIC GLOBAL AIRLINES (NGB) & GEMINI AIR CARGO (GMN). FREIGHTER.
4 MD-11F (CF6-80C2) (570-48542, /94 N542KD; 572-48543, /94 N543JN; 587-48545, /95 N545JN; 589-48546, /95 N546JN), FREIGHTER.
1 MD-11F (CF6-80C2) (48630, N630SN), FREIGHTER.
JAMES K NEFF, FOUNDER, CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO), WESTERN GLOBAL HOLDINGSEX-SOUTHERN AIR (SOF) (1999 - 2010), FLYING TIGER AIRLINES, CONTINENTAL AIRLINES (CAL), EMERY WORLDWIDE (EAF), & BURLINGTON AIR EXPRESS (BNA).
Founder and (CEO), Jim Neff, said, “As the 1st newly certified USA based wide body air cargo operator in almost a decade, (WGA) offers the global marketplace, a new large-scale, customer-oriented platform, focused on low cost, flexible service and high reliability. We also expect to benefit from the relative shortage of wide body cargo carriers in the market today.” In addition to being (WGA)’s (CEO), Jim also serves as Chairman and (CEO) of Helsinki based, Nordic Global Airlines, Ltd (NGB) and has had an unparalleled career in air cargo and aviation dating back to Flying Tiger Line, Continental Airlines (CAL), Emery Worldwide (EMC) and Burlington Air Express (BNA). He was the Founder and (CEO) of Southern Air (SOF) from 1999 until 2010.
Western Global Airlines (WGA) is Jim Neff’s masterpiece, the culmination of a lifetime of accomplishments and contributions in the air cargo and aviation industries, which commenced upon his graduation from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
Jim added, “For me, this is the culmination of a lifelong dream. Having created and built the air systems for many of the leading USA based cargo operators over the past 30 plus years, I believe that the current global economic reality calls for freighter services to be both lower cost and more responsive to customers. This is the driving force and the vision behind (WGA).”
(WGA)’s management team was hand-picked by Jim from among the industry’s most knowledgeable and experienced innovators. (WGA) will began operations with a fleet of MD-11Fs leased from Neff Air LLC, an affiliated leasing company which owns 10 (GE) powered MD-11Fs and 2 (GE) powered 747-400BCFs directly without debt. (WGA)’s business plan is based on enabling its customers to profitably grow their air cargo business, by seamlessly outsourcing all or part of their freighter operation to (WGA). (WGA)’s sister company, Nordic Global Airlines, Ltd (NGB), has been providing low cost, flexible, and reliable service to the European market for the past 3 years with a fleet of 5 MD-11Fs leased from Neff Air. Going forward, the company expects to develop the (WGA)/(NGB) platforms jointly to achieve marketing and operational synergies to maximize service responsiveness, flexibility, and operating efficiencies.
MS CARMIT NEFF, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO).
MS SUNNY NEFF, CHIEF INNOVATION OFFICER (CIO).
Prior to co-owning Southern Air (SOF), Sunny held corporate management positions in aviation at Flying Tigers and Air Cal, as well as in consumer marketing at Mattel. In addition, she distinguished herself as a management consultant in transportation, strategic marketing, planning and technology at Marketing Corporation of America, Weston Group and Redding Consultants. Relentlessly innovative and strategic, with wide ranging expertise and significant investments in the airline industry, Sunny has established herself as a leading woman in aviation and an inspiration to others. She earned her BA in Economics Summa cum Laude at (UCLA) and an MBA with high honors at (UCLA)’s Anderson Graduate School of Management.
In 2014 and 2015, (WGA) supported the fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa by flying dozens of relief missions directly into the affected areas. We are very proud of this effort and will continue to support humanitarian relief efforts wherever they are needed.
CAPTAIN TOM QUEHL, VP OPERATIONS, EX-NATIONAL AIRLINES.
TOM MURRILL VP
Tel: +1 (317) 413-1624
JEROME BASILE, DIRECTOR MAINTENANCE, EX-SOUTHERN AIR (SOF).
CAPTAIN GEORGE BOYKO, CHIEF PILOT, EX-(NORDIC GLOBAL AIRLINES (NGB).