Carl Donaway, CEO of Airborne Inc.

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, May 22, 2002, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Who says you can't make money in this market? How about a stock that has taken off, tripling in less than a year. And how about the guy who is behind it all?

He is here. Carl Donaway, the CEO of Airborne Inc. (ABF)

Carl, some good news on a day a lot of people needed to hear. Good for you.


CAVUTO: Thank you for coming.

I was thinking of all of all these terror threats and everything else. When you hear that, and we all think back to September 11 and halting all flying, do you worry that here we go again?

DONAWAY: I think we are all concerned about the new environment that we live in. Obviously it is something that we all got to be concerned with. Airborne has the good fortune to own its own airport. It is the largest privately owned airport in the United States, and we have always had a very, very tight security perimeter around that. We have always had a very tight focus on security on the aircraft and remote locations, so...

CAVUTO: So are your aircraft cockpit doors also have to be reinforced like passenger planes, or do you not apply to that?

DONAWAY: We do not have to apply that because we do not have passengers behind the doors, so it is strictly the crews in the cockpit areas.

CAVUTO: But you will know for sure whether any nefarious characters can get on?

DONAWAY: Everybody going onto that aircraft will be scanned with metal detectors, handheld wands, which have baggage -- it is a very, very tight ramped operation.

CAVUTO: Because when you do hear these reports about the fact that we are impenetrable to that kind of attack again, do you buy that? Using airplanes as missiles?

DONAWAY: You know, I really do not know. I would hate to speculate and I really pay close attention to what our leaders say, what President Bush has said, what the Transportation Safety Administration has said. I take my cues from those people. I think they have got the information to help us make good business decisions.

CAVUTO: All right. Obviously you have made very good and sound business decisions or your stock would not be jumping the way it is, but now you have got this potential UPS strike. How does that, quite crassly, benefit you?

DONAWAY: Well, actually, let us say the situation, we really will not see a benefit, because we are after long-term relationships with our customers. We really do not want to be an insurance policy for somebody who would use us the short-term, potentially jeopardize the service that our regular customers would receive, and then go back to the other competitor.

CAVUTO: But how do you avoid the type of labor strike that now UPS is visiting?

DONAWAY: Well, I think that it comes down to working with your employees. I think that, obviously, negotiating, we have organized labor employees with our company, and you have to sit down and make the best deal that you possibly can.

CAVUTO: What is your sense of just the economy and environment now? We are hearing from the Fed Ex's and the UPS's and all that volume has picked up. We have seen, much as the same with you, that the economy is rebounding, it is just not quite felt nationwide yet.

DONAWAY: Well, I am not an economist, but what I look at is the shipment volumes, and I look at the mix of shipments. What I see is there is a movement from the more premium overnight air kinds of shipments into the slower ground shipments. In the past year we have established a ground operation for Airborne.

We really are the carrier of corporate America, so we pay a lot of attention to what the very largest corporations do and build programs for them, and ground is a big part of that component.

CAVUTO: All right. Carl Donaway, again congratulations, good seeing you.

DONAWAY: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Best of luck with everything. Carl of course the chairman and CEO of Airborne.

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