Photo by M.J. Subiria Arauz
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announces Air France Cargo’s start of service to, and from, Hartsfield-Jackson on Thursday during the “Cargo Appreciation Day and Expo” at the airport. Air France Cargo will operate two weekly flights from Paris, to Atlanta.
After a three-year hiatus, Air France Cargo will make its return to the world’s busiest airport next month, said Atlanta’s mayor.
Kasim Reed announced the return of Air France Cargo during the “Cargo Appreciation Day and Expo” on Thursday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Air France-KLM Cargo and Martinair Cargo plan to start scheduled air cargo service to Atlanta’s airport on March 27, said airport spokeswoman Katena Carvajales. This is in addition to the passenger service already provided by Air France.
She said Air France Cargo will transport cargo non-stop from Paris, France, to Atlanta twice a week, which will provide an estimated economic impact of $8 million to $12 million for metro Atlanta and the Southeast. The cargo airline’s return will create six new jobs at the airport, she said.
Carvajales said Air France Cargo will operate the flights on a Boeing 747 freighter and Air France-KLM Cargo and Martinair Cargo will focus on sales and customer service.
Louis Miller, general manager at Hartsfield-Jackson, said the airport expects the two weekly flights by Air France Cargo to increase in the future.
“It is good for the community, because the more opportunities we have for the business community to export their products ... it just grows the economy, and it’s good for everybody,” he told the Clayton News Daily.
Mayor Reed said the role of air cargo is very important in Atlanta and the Southeast, and it’s critical to the developing growth of the city and region.
“I am pleased that Air France is choosing to grow its cargo business in Atlanta,” added Reed. “Air France’s decision to begin all-cargo air service into Atlanta furthers our position as one of the world’s premier logistic hubs.”
Alain Pagés, vice president of sales in the U.S. for Air France-KLM, said the airline is happy to have its freighters back in Atlanta. “These new flights are made possible through our close working relationship with Delta Cargo, and will offer our customers in the [Southeast] greater access to our global array of products and services,” he said.
Airport spokeswoman Carvajales explained that Air France-KLM passenger flights, Delta Air Lines’ trans-Atlantic flights, and Alitalia’s flights from the U.S., operate in coordination through the North Atlantic Joint Venture.
Air France Cargo, she said, had service at Hartsfield-Jackson from 1997, to 2009.
She said total international air cargo flights at the airport rose 40 percent between the years 2010 and 2011. Carvajales said that nine of the top 10 global cargo airlines have service to, and from, Hartsfield-Jackson.
The airport will host the “26th International Air Cargo Forum & Exposition 2012” from Oct. 2, to Oct. 4, she said, which, she said, is a well-received event in the air cargo industry across the globe.