Hartsfield-Jackson Gains Cargo Airline

ATLANTA, Oct. 10, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A leading international airline has announced the start of scheduled cargo service between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and the Middle East. Qatar Airways is expected to begin operating two weekly flights into Hartsfield-Jackson November 2.

The cargo flights by Qatar Airways are expected to have an estimated $12 million annual economic impact on metro Atlanta and to create up to 20 direct and indirect jobs.

"I am pleased to welcome Qatar Airways to Atlanta," said Mayor Kasim Reed. "Georgia was the 10th-largest exporter in the United States to the Middle East in 2010. This new direct trade lane enhances the metropolitan Atlanta region's global competitiveness by enabling local companies to gain increased market access to the Middle East."

Qatar Airways was among the airlines Mayor Reed met with last year at The International Air Cargo Association's (TIACA) Air Cargo Forum in Amsterdam.

"The addition of Qatar Airways will further enhance our Airport's reputation as a leading cargo airport," Aviation General Manager Louis Miller said. "Hartsfield-Jackson offers a geographically desirable location for cargo carriers and freight forwarders that want to expand their global networks with lower operating costs. Companies readily can connect with air, road and railway transportation systems in Atlanta."

The Doha, Qatar-based airline will operate Boeing 777 freighters on the route, which includes stops in Atlanta, Houston, Luxembourg and Doha.

"Qatar Airways' decision to begin air cargo service to Atlanta furthers our position as one of the world's premier logistics hubs," said Bob Pertierra, vice president of supply chain and advanced manufacturing for the Metro Atlanta Chamber.

According to the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Georgia exports to the Middle East in 2010 were worth nearly $1.4 billion, an increase of 6 percent from 2009 and nearly twice the amount in 2005 (90 percent increase).  

In 2010, cargo operations at Hartsfield-Jackson increased by more than 17 percent over 2009. The North American average for cargo growth during that period was 13.2 percent. From January to June 2011, the Airport has moved 328,930 metric tons of cargo. International and domestic cargo both increased by 2 percent during the period over last year.

Hartsfield-Jackson has received several awards for its cargo operations, including Air Cargo Week's Airport of the Year (2010, 2009) and Air Cargo World magazine's Award of Excellence for the best North American cargo operations in its category (2010, 2009).

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Hartsfield-Jackson is the world's busiest airport, serving more than 89 million passengers annually with nonstop service to more than 150 U.S. destinations and nearly 80 international destinations in more than 50 countries. The Airport is a frequent recipient of awards of excellence for concessions, operations, architectural engineering and construction ─ including the 2011 Global and North American Airport Efficiency Excellence Award from the Air Transport Research Society (for more information, go to www.atrsworld.org). It is undergoing $6 billion-plus in capital improvements, which include a new, energy-efficient rental car center; a new, 12-gate international terminal; and aesthetic and functional upgrades to its concourses, people movers and parking services. For more information, go to www.atlanta-airport.com. Check out the Airport's YouTube channel by visiting www.youtube.com/AtlantaHartsfield, and become a fan on Facebook.

Al Snedeker
(404) 382-2364

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