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Hall of Fame 2009 - Edwin Ned Wallace

Edwin "Ned" Wallace

Edwin “Ned” Wallace’s close relationship with the international scheduled all-cargo industry spans more than four decades. Joining the pioneering air freight airline “The Flying Tiger Line” from college in 1966, Mr. Wallace’s career placed him in the forefront of developments in the international air freight industry. He was instrumental in establishing and expanding Flying Tiger’s critical transpacific freighter operation, making extensive use of operational hubs in Tokyo and Anchorage. He helped plan and manage the carrier’s transition first from turbo-prop CL-44’s to a B-707 and DC-8 jet fleet and finally to Boeing 747 freighters. When Flying Tigers acquired Seaboard World Airlines along with that carrier’s broad transatlantic route rights, he played a significant role in the successful integration of the two companies. By 1989, Mr. Wallace had risen to the position of Senior Vice President International Sales and Services of The Flying Tiger Line.

In the tightly regulated environment of 1980’s, Tiger’s success in acquiring and developing some of the most valuable international air freight routes in the world made it increasingly attractive to the then rapidly expanding Federal Express. In 1989, FedEx acquired The Flying Tiger Line Inc. and consolidated it within its own company. Mr. Wallace decided against staying with the new entity and instead formed “Nedmark,” a California based air freight consulting company from which he worked closely with US and Asian air carriers to expand their global air freight presence.

Four years later, in conjunction with a division of General Electric, he founded Polar Air Cargo, Inc. Mr. Wallace’s concept was to provide the forwarding community reliable, time definite airport to airport international scheduled service. To accomplish this in the highly competitive environment of air cargo, the airline from top to bottom was specifically designed be to be more cost efficient than its competitors. Mr. Wallace’s vision was a success; over the next five years that fledgling cargo airline grew from an initial three B-747F aircraft to a fleet of 16 with scheduled flights to five continents. In early 2000, Mr. Wallace sold his interest in the airline to GE and retired to his home in Newport Beach, California.

For an individual with such a lifelong interest in the air freight industry and an entrepreneurial spirit, retirement was predictably short-lived. In 2002 Connie Kalitta, a former US drag racing champion and racing team owner, established Kalitta Air, an international all-cargo carrier operating B747F aircraft. He turned to Ned Wallace for advice and assistance. Mr. Wallace responded by founding the “Wallace Air Cargo Group,” to act as an independent worldwide sales and marketing arm of Kalitta Air. The collaborative effort has been quite successful. Kalitta Air operates a fleet of 19 Boeing 747 freighters, including B747-400’s, over scheduled routes around the world.

In addition, Wallace Air Cargo Group provides GSA and other functions for Great Wall Airlines in the US and offers air cargo related consulting services to airlines and forwarders.

Mr. Wallace is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Air Transport Association and the US Department of Defense Airlift Committee.

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