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David Lara, veteran and stalwart of the air freight business, today leaves Ceva Logistics, 20 years after he joined what was then EGL.
Mr Lara, who has been in the industry for 48 years today, is retiring to spend more time with his family.
“I am exceedingly grateful to my colleagues at Ceva for the support and dedication they have shown during my tenure, and also my plans for retirement.
“Long goodbyes are difficult and having now completed the 20-year milestone, I have other family priorities. The 2 October was the day I joined and the day I wanted to leave; it was just right.”
Mr Lara has been known throughout the airline industry as a tough but fair negotiator – and also a friend.
David Kerr, former chief of cargo at Etihad and EMEA head for American Airlines Cargo, said: “I recall my first meeting with David, when Roger Samways and I had one of my first industry appointments at the Runnymede Hotel with American and EGL, our respective employers. He always gave great input at my team meetings with frank and honest feedback, which served us well.
“It was a pleasure to host David on our home turf in Abu Dhabi and he was always a great supporter of the Etihad customer forums every year, helping to keep engagement levels high and was a stalwart of our weekend networking.
“Navigating his work responsibilities, industry upheavals and steering his children through their education and fledgling careers, David always seemed to be able to strike a balance.
“David was also a good sounding board and advocate when career moves were under consideration, and I will always value his counsel. I wish David and his family many years of well-earned retirement time together.”
Ram Menen, former head of Emirates SkyCargo, added: “I have known David for about 37 years, and it was always a pleasure to work with him. He is good friend, and business-wise was one of my top customers and a tough negotiator.
“It was always a pleasure to work with him as he is one of the old-school guys, like me, where a shake of the hand was better than a signed contract.
“I am sure Ceva and the air cargo industry will miss him, but I am glad he comes and joins me in the retiree club. I wish him a well-deserved happy retirement.”
Another Loadstar contact said simply: “Great guy. One of the best.”
In a letter to airlines, Peter Penseel, Ceva’s new chief operating officer, airfreight, wrote: “Those of you that have worked with David will know he is globally, a highly respected individual within the industry, renowned for his airfreight expertise … those of you who have worked with him will appreciate first-hand the experience, dedication, commitment and skill he has brought to his role.
“During his time with Ceva, David has been instrumental in building lasting strategic relationships with our global airline partners.”
A personal note from The Loadstar‘s Alex Lennane:
David helped me immeasurably when I started out as an air cargo journalist, painstakingly explaining things to me, but always remaining a consummate professional – which, sadly, prevented him from dishing too much dirt on others.
He remains to this day the only person to be detained by the police during a business meeting with me (it was in error, I hasten to add). It certainly added to the intrigue of meetings with Ceva.
I’d like to publicly thank him for all his help and support over the years, and all of us at The Loadstar wish him a very happy retirement.