Huntsville International Airport handled 93,458 tonnes of cargo last year, a 32 percent, year-over-year, increase. This figure represents the largest amount of freight ever handled by the Alabama-based airport and is 18-percent higher than HSV’s tonnage in 2007, its previous record year.
HSV Executive Director Rick Tucker said the airport’s 2011 cargo boom signals good news for 2012 operations. “Currently, we are ranked 16th in the nation for international air cargo and see a bright future for new cargo opportunities,” he said in a statement.
Propelling HSV’s success in 2011 was Panalpina’s extensive presence at the airport, according to a press release. Panalpina, which uses HSV as its U.S. hub, flies to the airport 10 times per week from Brazil, Europe, Hong Kong and Mexico.
“Huntsville airport is definitely a cornerstone of our airfreight product,” Benno Forster, senior vice present of airfreight for Panalpina’s U.S. operations, said in a statement. He expects the freight forwarder’s acquisition of Boeing 747-8Fs under a wet-lease agreement with Atlas Air to boost future operations at HSV.
Atlas Air CEO William Flynn concurs. “These new aircraft will give Panalpina increased capacity and revenue-generating capability in a growing global airfreight market, while improving fuel economy,” Flynn said in September. “We are proud to facilitate Panalpina’s continuing growth by providing industry-leading service that enables Panalpina to offer its customers a unique and highly flexible solution for time-definite airfreight.”