Flexport Logistics is suing Western Global Airlines (KD), a cargo aircraft charter provider, claiming service failures resulting in loss of business. Flexport had contracted with WGA for ACMI cargo charters using a Boeing 747-400(F) converted freighter. The cargo charter period, from April 2018 through March 2021, covered cargo flights from Hong Kong (HKG) to Los Angeles (LAX). Flexport claims that from the beginning of the charter period, the aircraft was plagued with mechanical delays. The B747 went “AOG” for up to three months. As a result, WGA substituted a smaller McDonnell Douglas MD-11F with less payload capacity. Flexport claims that the MD-11F was not an equal replacement for the B747, but was forced to accept. The MD-11F also suffered from mechanical issues causing delays and cancellations. The contract between Flexport and WGA allowed for cancellation (after 60 days notice) if the carrier failed to meet a defined operational reliability performance level of 80% during a rolling 2-month period. The logistics company claims WGA’s performance dipped as low as 66.1% in March 2019.
While this case continues in the courts, Flexport has since signed with Atlas Air (5Y) to provide replacement ACMI cargo charters. This time, the aircraft provided is a purpose-built B747-400F with nose-door loading capability. Atlas started the charters July 8 between HKG and LAX twice a week and HKG and ORD once a week.