December 14 - Larry Coyne, ceo of Coyne Airways, speaking on the eve of his airline's 20th anniversary noted that the future for niche carriers in the long run is a positive one - and that "a new air cargo world order will emerge over the next five years"

Coyne expects European legacy carriers to leave the long haul freighter business, with Asian and Middle Eastern operators stepping in to fill the gap. He argued that as competition increases, yields from China continue to fall, economies tighten their belts, and shippers turn to surface transport, European freighters will be unable to remain commercially viable in the long haul market.

"The combination carriers have suffered a series of setbacks including 9/11, SARS, the volcano dust cloud, and, most seriously, price fixing charges," said Coyne.

"They will increasingly concentrate on passenger cargo services, and the owners of long range freighters, like the B747-800, will need niche carriers like Coyne Airways to help them optimize loads. We can tap into local hubs where a single destination is not able to support a freighter operation," Coyne added.

The express operators will continue to target heavy cargo and new markets.