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Flexport files lawsuit against Western Global Airlines over alleged ‘unfit’ aircraft

Photo: Western Global

Logistics provider Flexport Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Western Global Airlines, alleging the company failed to provide proper freight transportation.

According to court documents, Flexport, headquartered in San Francisco, and Western Global Airlines (WGA) of Estero, Florida, entered into a four-year agreement until March 2021 where the airline would provide freight rotations between Hong Kong and Los Angeles.

Flexport alleges in its recent filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, that the 747-400 aircraft the logistics company contracted with WGA suffered “numerous mechanical and other service failures” for more than three months. 

According to the company, the aircraft was not fit for commercial purposes that it needed for its freight business.

While the agreed-upon aircraft was undergoing repairs, WGA offered to replace it with an older, smaller MD-11 aircraft.

“The MD-11 was far inferior to the 747-400 which Flexport contracted to utilize and not fit for the commercial purposes which Flexport needed for its businesses,” according to the lawsuit.

Because Flexport had to meet with customer demands, it had no choice but to “accept the use of this inferior aircraft, with the express understanding that the 747-400 would soon be operational,” according to court documents.

However, according to the lawsuit filed by Flexport, the agreed-upon aircraft sat “idle for months awaiting parts to be repaired,” but that the MD-11 also suffered “a seemingly endless series of mechanical failures and delays.”

“As the service failures by WGA mounted, Flexport’s business suffered,” the lawsuit states.

If WGA’s schedule reliability rate dropped below 80 percent during any two-month rolling period, Flexport could terminate the agreement, court documents allege.

According to court documents, WGA’s on-time performance for March and April  of 2019 “was well below the 80 percent threshold.”

A pretrial conference has been set for October 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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Clarissa Hawes

Clarissa has covered all aspects of the trucking industry for 14 years. She is an award-winning journalist known for her investigative and business reporting. Before joining FreightWaves, she wrote for Land Line Magazine and If you have a news tip or story idea, send her an email to [email protected].