It's been my belief that the hurting economy and the fear of flying are going to turn out to be good thinks for companies like FedEx, UPS, DHL, Airbone Express and such.
Sure, UPS is laying off some pilots right now, but that seems to be because they are transitioning from 3 person to 2 person cockpits and as soon as they can get some more aircraft on line those crews will be called back.
People are afraid to fly or won't fly because of September 11th, yet documents and contracts and such still have to be signed and overnighted between places. I know in the last year and a half I have definatly been spending more both personally and professionally on the Postal Service and FedEx.
Another advantage FedEx is coming across, Amtrak just announced they are shutting down from there cargo division (which mainly ran time sensative stuff like fruits and magazines) and they are being very wishy washy on whether they are going to jettison their Postal contracts.
This could be very good news for all cargo carriers, especially Fed Ex since they have the postal service contract.
There aren't enough drivers out there to put all this stuff on trucks and even with the hurting economy freight railroads are still running near capacity.
You can't just let things like apples just sit around and spoil, you have to get them to market.
So, in conclusion to all of this, I am not surprised you are seeing more cargo come through MSY
, I think air cargo will continue to grow and companies like Fedex and UPS can expect to see growth. I think eventually the pax airlines will start to try to get more cargo in their bellies and market their cargo divisions more aggressivly.