Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport saw record international flights, passengers and cargo in 2006, with the number of international departures and arrivals increasing some 30 percent over the previous year, according to airport statistics.

The increase in international activity is a sign of the airport’s commitment to making Atlanta a hub for international trade, transportation and connectivity, said Jeff Pearse, Hartsfield-Jackson’s new director of marketing and business development.

Mr. Pearse replaced Robert Kennedy, who was promoted to assistant general manager for operations, maintenance and security. Mr. Pearse oversees the marketing operations of the airport and seeks new business from air carriers around the world.

From December 2005 to December 2006, the number of international arrivals and departures in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson increased 28.13 percent from 47,418 to 60,756.

The total number of international passengers on aircraft coming into and out of the Atlanta airport increased 19.89 percent from 6.7 million to 8 million.

And the total international cargo coming through the airport increased 13.48 percent from 7.6 million to 8.6 million pounds.

The 2006 growth in cargo can be attributed to Cathay Pacific Airways’ four flights per week that began in November 2005 bringing cargo from Hong Kong, as well as Alitalia’s two weekly freighters between Atlanta and Milan, Italy, according to Hartsfield-Jackson Aviation Development Manager Warren Jones.

“Both of those international carriers added additional freighter lift into this market where there was great demand for it. Delta increased its international flights that carry belly cargo, but it’s only 33 percent of the total cargo picture,” he said, referring to Delta Air Lines Inc.’s international expansion that added 22 new international routes out of Atlanta in 2006.

Mr. Jones added that Hartsfield-Jackson is able to offer some of the lowest landing fees in the country, plus the U.S. South’s population is growing and buying power is increasing, so businesses here are demanding more imports, causing cargo volume to increase.

Hartsfield-Jackson moved almost 100,000 more metric tons of cargo in 2006 than Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas, Mr. Jones said. “This shows what Atlanta has to offer to the world in terms of connectivity to South America and Asia because a lot of cargo is going on to those regions,” he said.

Story Contacts, Links and Related Stories
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport -Jeff Pearse: (404) 530-2412

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – Warren Jones: (404) 209-2945 x129