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August 7th, 1989: “T-Day” – Flying Tigers Makes FedEx an International Force

August 7, 2014

Flying Tigers / FedEx adA quarter-century ago today, Flying Tigers joined forces with Federal Express to become the world’s largest full-service, all cargo airline. Included in the acquisition were routes to 21 countries, a fleet of Boeing 747 and 727 aircraft, facilities throughout the world and Tiger’s expertise in international airfreight. 

On August 7th, 1989 Bill Logue became a FedEx operations manager at the Boston ramp. Today, he serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of FedEx Freight. Like many who worked on “T-Day”, he remembers that first day well.

————–

25 years, where did the time go?

It seemed like just yesterday we were all preparing for “T- Day”, August 7,  1989. That’s when we all became part of this great company, FedEx. The Flying Tigers acquisition played a very important role in the history of FedEx, as it contributed significantly to the backbone of our very successful and important international network.

We were a small group of employees from a very tight organization, and we continue to have great pride in our heritage. Today, twenty-five years later, we celebrate the positive impact we have had on the great company that we all work for.

The future of FedEx is very bright, all due to our employee’s passion, to deliver the Purple Promise to our customers on every single transaction!

Well done and Happy 25th to all!

Comments

    Dawg says:

    Does seem like JUST yesterday. I was in Tulsa OK at the time and Flying Tigers was next door. The one employee, who we nicknamed “Tig”, joined the Federal Express family and we learned a lot together. We flew cattle out of Tulsa on the R W Prescott 747 many times. To all the Flying Tiger employees I have worked with and still do work with, Thank You for all you have done and continue to do daily.

    Jeff says:

    And let’s not forget about those DC-8s they brought in.

    Craig Ford says:

    Acquiring Flying Tigers turned out to be one of the best decisions Federal Express ever made, not only did we gain critical international routes and aircraft, but we were fortunate to inherit some great leaders like Bill Logue that would play a big part in making FedEx the company it is today! Thank you for your leadership Mr.Logue! Here is to the next 25 years!

    Shailesh Evalekar says:

    Hey, miss you guys from Flying Tiger…Helen Sahagun, Rey Regoso..

    Ron Merriman says:

    Very Few of us left now. But still very proud to have been part of a great piece of American History. The Flying Tiger Line. Started by a group returning from World War II that were with the AVG in China. Flying Tigers. So Much History that not many even remember anymore.

    john caiazza says:

    seems like yesterday…i went from the new kid from that other company to the old guy down the hall. still thankful every day for the outcome. a great experience all around. i still have the original poster above hanging in my office. great ad……happy anniversary. jc

    Jackie Zissel says:

    Remember that day very well. Proud to work for Flying Tigers and FedEx. Looking forward to retirement!!

    Ezra Fried says:

    NY Metro tech reps, played a crucial role in installing all the 3270 emulation equipment , Green screens, printers and controllers, we supported the IDNX. We The project was a great team effort and I have many fond memories of that period. Happy Tday .

    Andy says:

    Happy 25th to our Tiger family! Some of my fondest working memories were made “growing up” there. I echo this sentiment in particular; “we continue to have great pride in our heritage”. And equally as proud am I of the many former Tiger employees who hold significant leadership roles with FedEx today. Thank you, Bill – for remembering and for continuing to lead us to great success. Happy T-Day!….Andrea (Thompson)

    Tom Borneman says:

    I learned alot as a young man working at JFK with some of the “old hands” in the cargo business. I appreciate I’ve been able to work for not one, but two of the greatest companies in the industry, Flying Tiger Line, then FedEx.

    Marlin Horner says:

    For those employees and management that opened the Indy Express Hub in October 1988 as a small day-sort, T-Day 1989 represented the day in FedEx history when the Indianapolis Hub grew up and became recognized as a second major night sort operation. The acquisition of Flying Tigers helped make it happen. Thanks to all of the FedEx employees and outstanding “former” Flying Tigers employees that pulled it off so successfully! 25 years later, congratulations once again on a job well done!

    KJS 7701 says:

    I was part of an amazing team who produced the 24-hour T-Day live television broadcast to welcome our new colleagues from Flying Tigers and talk about our future together. FXTV, the video production department, was one of the hundreds of locations that gained a Tiger, and we quickly learned what great, talented, hard-working folks they were.

    Thanks for the memories!

    Lee Cunningham says:

    I started at High Tiger at LAX and remember the day I watched the Federal Express corporate jet taxi into the Flying Tiger hanger. No one could have ever predicted what the years would bring. It’s been a long and rewarding journey. I also have the original poster hanging in my office to always remember.

    Janet Nations says:

    And let’s not forget about our wonderful Animal Desk. They do an amazing job with our Zoo customers & Horse shippers. The animals are always in good hands. These high profile shipments are always pleased with the Service our Animal Desk provides. Thank you for your hard work & dedication.

    Bob Hargrave says:

    Tigers also gave us Sheree Weber! Thanks for your years of service!
    Bob Hargrave
    Capt. A300

    Jose Alvarez says:

    It has been a long time. I was with Federal Express for only two years when Flying Tigers came in. I was a courier out of EMT, Los Angeles, when station had a few “tig” employees join us. We all learned a lot about Flying Tigers and Federal Express together. It did not take them long to blend right in and became part of the FedEx family.

    HAPPY T-DAY

    SaraSue Lemerise says:

    Please! I’d like to forget those DC-8’s! But they do bring back a lot of old memories! Took a lot of teamwork to load and launch them!(package handles to load massive bellies, three ramp agents to do the weight and balance and always the mechanics who would would come flying up to stop the push back so they could raid spare parts in the fly away kit for another one)

    Alex says:

    As a kid I grew up on the CVG ramp for Tigers. Had a parent who worked the Air Freight scheduling systems (KIAC). I remember the horse charters from Cincinnati as they would load up the 747’s. Also flew Jumpseat as a kid to Chicago then on to San Francisco.

    Deb says:

    I feel the same as John C. I was the young kid and now ……the younger folks working around me want me to retire so they can get my shift !
    I have many, many fond memories of working in Chicago.
    Where has the time gone ?

    Patricia A. Davis says:

    So proud and grateful to have helped with the transition from Tigers to Federal Express, it was a large undertaking, especially teaching the KIAC system, which my group of Customer Service at Tigers used. I knew a long and lasting career at Federal Express was inevitable due to the warmth and personal involvement upper management, Vice Presidents and our President and CEO Mr. Fredrick Smith gave the Los Angeles corporate offices. I was so impressed at how our President, CEO Mr. Smith remembered our names and was so gracious to us when we visited Memphis, TN.
    I Love working for FedEx. Happy T-Day to all! Patricia A. Davis, not Pat, Patsy or Pattie.

    Brian Dabrowski says:

    I can’t believe it’s been 25 years, since FedEx bought Flying Tigers and our two companies became ONE. I was one of those DC-8 pilots 25 years ago. I loved flying that four engined beast. That airplane wasn’t done flying until the parking break was set. It was a very demanding airplane, and I truly loved every minute flying that beast. My career has been exceptional, beyond my wildest expectations. I’ve flown the B727, DC-8, DC-10, MD-11 and Airbus. Out of those 25 years, I’ve been a Captain for 18 years, and I can continue for another 9 years as a Captain, if I choose to stay until age 65. What other airline in the world offers a career to a pilot to fly as an aircraft Commander/ Captain for 27 years. The best part is I’ve flown to nearly every airport / city, around the world that FedEx operates into. Thank you FedEx.

    Bill Reiner says:

    Thank you. We had cake and ice cream. To salute those left to making Mr. Smith’s investment payoff. Incorporating the Worlds most productive Airline Airfreight employees into the Federal Express delivery system in 1989. Carried great rewards in meeting and succeeding the goals set at the merger!

    Dan Doherty says:

    Bill, I am proud to say that I was part of the team in Boston that welcomed you and all of the Flying Tiger employees on that day. You were then and still today a great leader. The vision of FWS was at its finest bringing the Tiger team on board the FedEx Express. The dedication and knowledge of all on the “North Side” was extraordinary and beneficial to me and FedEx. Congratulations to all as we continue to move forward and deliver the “Purple Promise”.

    Tony Strafaci says:

    This is a proud accomplishment! Out in L.A., we celebrated T-Day by going to lunch at the Proud Bird with those who started at the Flying Tigers along with those who are “new”.

    While I never worked for Flying Tigers,I am the manager of the old Flying Tiger’s KIAC Development team (now working on it’s replacement) which is still based out in L.A. We had a great lunch, and looked through photos of the Flying Tiger 25th anniversary “year book”. There’s still a lot of pride for the Flying Tigers!

    I wish we could post some photos we took in front of the Tigers Memorial at the Proud Bird!

    Maureen Portella says:

    Great memories of working for Flying Tigers in Rio de Janeiro (GIG), sharing positions with Campinas VCP. So many friends along the way!

    William D Wacht says:

    Greetings,
    Twenty-Five years ago Federal Express and Flying Tigers snapped a huge bite into the World of Global Cargo Transportation and is the leading Innovator of International Commerce by leaps and bounds ever since then! This company has driven the information age while manifesting itself rich in Aviation History and service to the world-at-large. That is well beyond accolade and accomplishment! Bravo Zulu FedEx!

    The LAX Proud Bird Luncheon with my group was awesome and is greatly appreciated. The place is so rich in history and is highly recommend for a visit to all who come to or travel through Los Angeles International Airport.
    Regards,
    Will

    john craig III says:

    Flying Tigers/Federal Express…………perfect marriage of forces to exceed the competition, espacially in Asia as we all are aware….are “some competitors” still trucking to points East where we fly in directly?…Competition = Capitalism…= America….cant wait tor 2016. hope its not too late….Go FedEx….the BEST in the business…

    David F says:

    I’ve often said the 2 best things that FedEx received in the merger were the international routes and Bill Logue.
    Thanks for your leadership across the enterprise.

    Pat T. says:

    I was fortunate enough to be one of the Mechanics that helped transition the South America loop from the 747 to the DC-10. Spent a month in Brasil, first at Rio, then Manus. That was also the turning point in a relationship. After the difficult communication issues, I decided to marry the sweet gal I had been dating for 4 months. Even had the rings made in Rio! Yep, Sweet Memories…and yes, we are still happily married!

    Elisabeth says:

    And they gave is KIAC! One of the most stable systems ever, albeit greenscreen technology. A lot of the old cargo people still miss this incredible system, which is actually still alive, albeit only in the background. Tough to replace it! FT gave us our 023 airline code among many other wonderful technologies and the best people. Go LAX team! Although I’ve ONLY been at FedEx for almost 19 years, I deal a lot with the FT team when it comes to cargo… and I was in freight forwarding and dealt with FT at LAX many many moons ago!

    Loretta Burek says:

    Time sure flies! As a new Flying Tiger employee, I was excited with the news of the merger but a little apprehensive about my new role with Federal Express. I had just been through another large merger between Western and Delta Airlines. The transition went very well and every Federal Express manager and employee welcomed me with open arms and made sure that I had everything I needed. From that moment on, and to this day, I am proud to be a FedEx employee.

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