Hartsfield-Jackson experiences increase in cargo flights

The world's busiest airport continues to expand its air cargo reach and capacity, said a spokesman for the airport.

Weekly cargo flights increased over 40 percent from 2010, to 2011 at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said Al Snedeker. The estimated economic impact this increase has for Atlanta and the Southeast is from $60 million to $72 million per year, he said.

"More than 80 percent of U.S. consumers can be reached in a day's trucking from Hartsfield-Jackson," said Louis Miller, aviation general manager at Atlanta's airport. "This is a tremendous advantage for businesses looking to distribute products quickly, efficiently and inexpensively."

Snedeker said cargo carriers have added 24 flights per month in 2011.

Starting this month, Asiana Airlines will operate seven flights per week with Boeing 747-400 service, he continued. The airline began service at Hartsfield-Jackson with four weekly flights last year. It is based in Seoul, South Korea, he said.

"Asiana has an estimated $24 million economic impact on Atlanta and the region," said Snedeker.

China Cargo Airlines and Singapore Airlines have increased their cargo capacity at Atlanta's airport. China Cargo Airlines will double from three, to six weekly flights. Singapore Airlines has four weekly flights, due to its addition of one flight this year, he said.

Cargolux has increased its presence at Atlanta's airport and currently operates five weekly flights on 747-400 freighters, said Snedeker. The Luxembourg-based airline has also added to the airport's European reach, he said.

"In 2010, cargo operations at Hartsfield-Jackson increased by more than 17 percent over 2009," said the spokesman. "The North American average for cargo growth during that period was 13.2 percent."

Snedeker said the airport has already received awards for its cargo operations including Airport of the Year from Air Cargo Week and Air Cargo World magazine's Award of Excellence for the best North American cargo operations in its class. The airport received both awards in 2010 and 2009.

"Hartsfield-Jackson offers geographically desirable locations for cargo carriers and freight forwarders that want to expand their global networks with lower operating costs," he said.