Atlanta welcomes Cargoitalia
Italian designer leather goods, fashion items and a black Ferrari were among the goods on board Cargoitalia’s inaugural flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Cargoitalia is now flying twice a week to Atlanta from its Milan hub. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Cargoitalia commercial director Roberto Gilardoni greeted the carrier’s inaugural MD-11 freighter upon landing.
Reed said: “These direct flights give Atlanta and the entire southeastern United States increased access to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As we continue to expand Hartsfield-Jackson’s cargo operations, this most recent addition is vital to growing our logistical network.”
Cargoitalia is the 15th all-cargo airline to serve Hartsfield-Jackson and the region. Korea’s Asiana Airlines began a freighter service in September 2010, helping the airport to an overall 17 percent increase to 659,000 tonnes for the year. International shipments were up 24.2 percent at 385,000 tonnes.
The first return flight carried car parts for Germany. Textiles, manufactured goods and agricultural products are expected to make up the majority of Cargoitalia’s eastbound cargo.
“Atlanta is one of the most important air cargo gateways in the U.S., and we consider it a must-have city in our growing network,” Gilardoni said. “We have great optimism about our potential in this market.”
Cargoitalia completed its first full year of operations with a 37 percent increase to 4,626 block hours in the July-December period compared with the first half of 2010. It carried 25,000 tonnes of freight from July to December, up 34 percent on January to June, and maintained an 89 percent load factor by volume and 72 percent by weight.
The airline’s export traffic in the period represented 42 percent of the Milan-New York market and 55 percent of Milan-Chicago traffic. It also makes scheduled calls in Hong Kong and Dubai, and it added a twice-weekly Shanghai service last September.
Commenting on the results, Cargoitalia’s managing director, operations, Giacomo Manzon, said: “This has been a great first full year, and we ended ahead of our business plan.”
Manzon pledged to keep expanding Cargoitalia’s range of destinations and further enhance service standards.