Singapore Airlines Cargo commenced weekly all-cargo service by introducing its around-the-world service to ATL on September 24. The service involves 747-400 freighters from Singapore to ATL via Europe (Brussels) and the Middle East (Sharjah) before returning to Singapore.
The carrier is the latest addition to Hartsfield-JacksonÃ¢â‚¬™s cargo operation, which creates 255,000 jobs and US$44.7 billion in business sales in the six-state Southeastern region served by the airport. Those states are Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
ATL officials contend Singapore AirlinesÃ¢â‚¬™ decision to begin air cargo service to Atlanta furthers the airportÃ¢â‚¬™s position as one of the worldÃ¢â‚¬™s premier logistics hubs and center for supply chain management. Ã¢â‚¬Å“This new trade lane will enable companies in Atlanta and the Southeastern US to gain access to even more customers and markets across Asia,Ã¢â‚¬Â says Bob Pertierra, vice president of supply chain development for the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Attractive cargo hub
ATL officials emphasise that Hartsfield- Jackson is an attractive cargo airport because of its efficiency, low operating costs and lack of curfews. In addition, the airport offers five parallel runways, six passenger concourses and three cargo complexes to facilitate efficient and expedient connections for air cargo carriers.
More than 240 cities in 55 countries worldwide are served from ATL where there are more than 2,600 daily landings and takeoffs. The airport is also located near three major interstate highways that allow cargo delivery trucks to reach more than 80 per cent of the US industrial market and 79 per cent of the nationÃ¢â‚¬™s largest consumer markets within twodelivery days.
ATL also continues with its capital improvement program. Included is a US$1.4 billion international passenger terminal, which opens in 2012. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our goal is to build relationships with new carriers,Ã¢â‚¬Â comments Jones. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We fully understand that it takes time and years to work together. Attracting Cathay took 10 years. Now it is one of the top cargo producers in the market.Ã¢â‚¬Â
To help promote ATL, officials recently attended air cargo conferences in Hong Kong and Miami. Next year representatives will be in Amsterdam for TIACA. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In 2012, Atlanta will be hosting the TIACA conference,Ã¢â‚¬Â Jones states.
Jones is optimistic for the future. Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬™s the most efficient airport in North America,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We also offer superb connectivity to the US Southeast, plus 80 per cent of the US population is within a two hour flight. It is easy to connect to different cargo destinations. ItÃ¢â‚¬™s a one day truck ride to most East Coast locations.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Add to this the potential auto manufacturer KIA will have on ATL given the car manufacturerÃ¢â‚¬™s recent decision to locate a new assembly plant in South Georgia. Jones expects this announcement will result in more car parts flying through ATL. Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are already three car plants within five hours from ATL,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says.
In addition, ATL operates a 42,000 square feet perishable center on site. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We want to bring in a Latin connection with freighters going on to Asia and Europe,Ã¢â‚¬Â he says. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We can offer thisconnectivity.Ã¢â‚¬Â