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It has been said by many that he is the nicest man in air cargo. But the industry is soon to lose one of its pillars when Ram Menen, after nearly 40 years in the industry, retires from Emirates SkyCargo in June.

“There will never be another like him,” said Des Vertannes, head of IATA Cargo. “He imparts knowledge, expertise and experience without wanting or seeking reward, and there cannot be another person whose overall achievements could be bettered.”

Mr Menen’s success at Emirates, where he led the carrier’s cargo arm from its launch in 1985, to it becoming the largest cargo combination airline in the world last year, could never be repeated, said Mr Vertannes. “He’s endured every global challenge – economic crises, wars, high fuel costs, security threats, while all the time building an airline’s cargo product based on unique principles. When everyone else was outsourcing their commercial activities, he didn’t. He put market intelligence and customers at the top of his focus. He always put the company and customers first – at the expense of his personal life  – and I don’t think people realise how much he had to do to accomplish the growth at Emirates.”

In an email sent yesterday to friends, Mr Menen wrote: “Just to let you know that after nearly forty years of being in the business, as I come of age and still being in good health to get to know what life is, I have decided to take early retirement, hang up my hat, to spend some quality time with family and friends. [My wife] Malou and I intend to spend summer in Europe, winter in Kuala Lumpur and also get some travels in to visit friends around the world.”

But few believe that he won’t still be present in the industry to some degree, and he confirmed to The Loadstar: “I will be happy to keep on contributing to the industry associations/organizations in any way I can, especially for the next generation.”

Mr Vertannes added that his contribution to the industry reflected his nature. “He is accessible and humble. Nothing was impossible, no trip was too short or too far to do, and he has a sense of humility in all his achievements. He has led by example – and none of his senior team, most of which have been there from the start, has left. It’s a hell of a tribute.”

Mr Menen has more than Emirates SkyCargo’s success on his illustrious CV. An engineer, he was behind the development of the LD-36 ULD, which increased usable space on each lower deck pallet space by 33%. He helped found TIACA, headed IATA’s Cargo Committee from 2008 to 2011 while being a member for nearly 20 years, and – famously – ensured that IATA Cargo was able to function under a less-than-understanding director general.

“The industry will still turn to him for his counsel and advice after he’s left,” added Mr Vertannes. “I think he will not be short of people asking to use his expertise. But I think he will also start to enjoy life, and he owes it to his family. It would be wonderful if he can now share the fruits of his labours with Malou, who has been so loyal and supportive, and Ram Junior. I’m thrilled for him.”

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  • Michael Webber

    January 22, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Ask me to name my favorite person in our industry and Ram immediately comes to mind. I could use 500 more words but that already sums it up for me.

  • Uwe Beck

    January 22, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    What a gentleman, friend and business man. Everybody has to retire somehow, but we will miss you Ram

  • Ursula Schmeling

    January 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    It is always sad to say good-bye.
    We shall miss him sorely and his joie de vivre, his provocative statements, and his love of an argument.

  • Maria Udy

    January 22, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    A true gentleman of the industry. I wish him every happiness in the next stage of his “career”. Let’s hope there are a few more Ram Menens climbing their way up the career ladder.

  • Santhosh Shetty

    January 23, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Indeed a thorough gentlemen, with sheer dedication and a good human being. I had an honor working with Ram and team for 11 years and he is my inspiration. When we speak about Air Cargo it is Ram Menen.
    I wish him all the success and will miss him.

  • Hatem Abdel-Monem

    January 23, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    This is really very sad news for me 🙁
    I can’t imagine Emirates SkyCargo without Ram Menen, I worked for Emirates for 7 years and he was a great supporter to me … he made me always feel competent… over the past 5 years I was doing all possible to rejoin Emirates again for only one reason …. to be under his supervision.

    I wish him very successful life with his family but really industry will lose a lot and I doubt that anyone can replace or do as he did in Emirates 🙁

    • Raitalk

      January 24, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      Hatem, a change is a must! Let Ram take a rest and may his departure give the talented new generation a chance for discovery.

      • Hatem Abdel-Monem

        January 24, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        Raitalk, yeah change is a must. However in Ram’s case he really deserves a rest and some time with his family. But he made something with Emirates no one can repeat again, and whenever anyone says “Emirates Skycargo” Ram’s name should be mentioned as well 🙂

  • Dave Worth

    January 23, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Ram will be sorely missed but good luck to him and his family in the future, they deserve it.
    I first met Ram when he became their first cargo sales executive working out of the old offices on his own…how things changed over the years….

    Hope to see him again in London one day soon, love to Malou and Jr

  • Maxim Rego

    January 24, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Ram Menen….what a gem of person. He is a genuine leader led his team by example. I had the honor to work for Emirates Skycargo for 8years and he was inspiration to all of us. I still remember Ram’s words when new generation skychain system was launched “if EK Skycargo doesn’t develop new generation system then who else in the industry can?” very true….no entity in the world ever had knowledge and expertise to knock out legacy systems in the industry!! Ram’s contribution to the industry is huge…air cargo industry will always indebted to him. I hope new leader whoever takes over keeps Emirates Skycargo up there!!

  • Samer Darwish

    January 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I wish Ram the very best , He was ( for me )the Industry’s ICON and I have been following up his steps of sucess..always..
    I worked with him for a very short time when Emirtaes was off line to Kuwait and learned a lot.
    “Emirates Skycargo” has been and will always be attached to RAM MENON.
    Truly Said “There will never be another like him”.

  • Ram Menen

    February 01, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Dear all,
    I truly appreciate your kind words and sentiments. I am overwhelmed by the responses I have had and very much overcome with emotions. I did not know I had so many well wishers and friends in the industry. I feel truly blessed. I have been privileged to work with a great team, great partners, great customers, and most of making great friends. I cannot even begin to thank you all for your good wishes.

    Best regards,


    • Maxim Rego

      February 01, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Thank you Ram for your reply. This is really a surprise!! Wish you good health and good times ahead.

    • Haresh Dhakan

      April 05, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      Hello Ram

      As you are one of my ideals I did try to catch up with you but seems you were pretty busy during the last stages of your retirement. My name is Haresh Dhakan, working with EK as Crew Scheduling as Supdt. surely too small for a person like you. But must say I have aquired a lot of virtues & values from you whilst being in touch with your colleagues in Skycargo. Appreciate if I can get your contact to be in touch sometime if that is not a problem.

      Thanks again…..Haresh

  • tompers ginette

    February 09, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Feel there are no words to describe what king of a person Ram Menen has always been, in business as well as privately, and I wish him from the bottom of my heart a great retirement together with his family and friends, may all his dreams come true!!!

  • Peter Frampton

    February 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    Ram It is hard to believe that you are finally leaving Sky Cargo. I really enjoyed all our contacts. You were one of a few people in the industry who really understood cargo. Thanks for all your support during my time at Qantas. I will be in Dubai in June or July. Please send me your contact details.
    The industry is losing a giant. You will be missed
    Very best wishes
    Peter Frampton

    • Ram Menen

      February 24, 2013 at 5:25 am

      Dear Peter,
      Thank you for your kind words and sentiments. It ws wonderful to have been able to work with you in
      your role with IATA/QF and I am sure you are pleased that EK and QF are now going to working closer under the new partnership that is being formed.Tried to e-mail you, however, it seems to be bouncing back. Can you please let me have your latest mail address? you can e-mail me on [email protected].

      Best regards,


  • Dinesh Sharma

    June 06, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Dear ram,
    All the best ram. I have not known a better professional like you, yet so human and approachable. Your leadership skills are unparalleled in the industry.
    I wish you all the best in everything you do.
    Change is the only constant.
    Regards Dinesh