The inaugural passenger and cargo flights from Buenos Aires and Taipei arriving in Atlanta last week underscored for Robert Kennedy, Hartsfield Atlanta International Airport’s marketing and public relations manager, the city’s potential as a crossroads to Asia and Latin America.

“Of course, we can challenge Miami as a hub for cargo and passenger service to and from Asia and Latin America,” he told GlobalFax during a telephone interview.

Both LAPA (Lineas Aereas Privadas Argentinas) and Eva Air’s inaugural flights arrived at Hartsfield early in the morning of Aug. 18.

LAPA’s nonstop flights make the airline the 19th foreign carrier at Hartsfield providing both passenger and cargo service while Eva is the ninth all-cargo foreign carrier to use the airport.Although Hartsfield’s international cargo business has remained flat so far this year, Mr. Kennedy said that he anticipates economic recoveries in the Asian and Mercosur countries will provide it with a lift by the end of the year.

Orders to build inventories, prompted by Y2K concerns, also should help the international cargo business, he added.

LAPA is a private airline that has captured from its state-owned competitor more than 45% of the domestic market in Argentina and is expanding in international markets in Europe as well as the U.S.  Atlanta is its first U.S. destination.

Part of the Evergreen Group, Eva Air is Taiwan’s leading independently owned and operated airline. The airline provides both passenger and cargo services to destinations in Asia, Europe, and the Persian Gulf.

Atlanta is the carrier’s sixth air cargo destination in the U.S. including Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.  It provides passenger service to Honolulu, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco and Seattle in the U.S. and to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Eva Air officials told GlobalFax that they hope to begin passenger service to Atlanta in the not too distant future as well.

To reach Mr. Kennedy, call (404) 209-2945; fax, (404) 209-2942.  LAPA may be reached at (770) 579-8373; fax, (770) 977-9489.  Eva Air may be reached at (404) 209-7688; fax, (404) 209-7689.