Airport celebrates cargo partners, welcomes new one
Hartsfield-Jackson held its third annual Air Cargo Appreciation Day and Expo on February 23 in the north cargo building, and this year’s program featured a cargo service announcement, a new expo portion and the event’s first awards.
Mayor Kasim Reed was on hand to announce the addition of Air France-KLM Cargo/Martinair Cargo service, beginning March 27. Air France Cargo, which will operate the flights, plans to have twice-weekly service between Paris and Atlanta.
“I am pleased that Air France is choosing to grow its cargo business in Atlanta,” Reed said. “Air France’s decision to begin all-cargo air service into Atlanta furthers our position as one of the world’s premier logistics hubs. Air cargo is important to Atlanta and the southeastern United States, and it is critical to our continued growth and success as a city and a region.”
The new cargo service is estimated to have an annual economic impact of $8 million to $12 million on metro Atlanta and the Southeast.
The “expo” portion of the Air Cargo Appreciation Day and Expo was a first for the event. Nearly 30 companies and organizations set up tables and displays to share information — as well as chocolate-covered fruit, popcorn and promotional giveaways.
Outside, attendees were invited to explore an MD-11 freighter, lent by UPS, and to learn about the Atlanta Police Department Bomb Squad and the Airport mobile command center.
The ATL Air Cargo Awards were voted upon by members of the air cargo industry. After a bomb robot delivered the sealed envelopes to Metro Atlanta Chamber Chairman Sam Williams, he named the three finalists in each of three categories, and the mayor announced the winners.
The winners of the inaugural awards were Delta Air Lines, Airline of the Year; Kuehne & Nagel, Freight Forwarder of the Year; and J&P Hall Express, Trucking Company of the Year.
Other finalists were Cargolux Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways for Airline of the Year; DHL Global Forwarding and Geodis Wilson for Freight Forwarder of the Year; and Air Freight Atlanta and Forward Air for Trucking Company of the Year.
Not lost amid the activity was the underlying purpose of the event: thanking the cargo community.
“I am very glad that the spirit is high in the room, because you really are doing important things to turn around our city’s, our state’s and our nation’s economy — and you’re doing it with class. And you have my personal appreciation,” Reed said.
One of the Atlanta Police Department Bomb Squad's robots delivers the sealed envelopes containing ATL Air Cargo Awards winners to Metro Atlanta Chamber Chairman Sam Williams, as Aviation General Manager Louis Miller and Mayor Kasim Reed look on.
Metro Atlanta Chamber Chairman Sam Williams (from left), Todd Moore of J&P Hall Express, Neel Shah of Delta Air Lines, Mayor Kasim Reed, Aviation General Manager Louis Miller and Steve Upchurch of Kuehne & Nagel pose for photos after the awards were announced.
UPS lent this MD-11 freighter to provide tours.
Officers Jonnie Botts (left) and Lorenzo Stripling of the Atlanta Police Department Bomb Squad shared information about bomb detection with visitors.
Southwest Airlines, fresh off its long-awaited debut at Hartsfield-Jackson, took part in the expo to introduce its cargo operation.
© 2012 Hartsfield-Jackson News. A Publication from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. All rights reserved.