Cargolux Airlines on Dec. 14 started a new cargo flight from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Luxembourg, upping to from two to three its total number of weekly flights from Atlanta to the small European country.

Luxembourg-based Cargolux, the largest all-cargo carrier in Europe, will lift an additional 70 tons of cargo each week on its new flight, according to an airport news release.

Hartsfield-Jackson is the 11th busiest cargo airport in the U.S., handling nearly 721,000 tons in 2007.  Last year, the airport processed 2 percent more international cargo than in 2006.

The airport has 13 all-cargo carriers and ample room for more.

“With 230 tons of cargo currently available for lift, we are very interested in talking with quality freight operators about opportunities at Hartsfield-Jackson,” said Arnaldo Ruiz, the airport’s assistant general manager for commercial development.  He said the airport is connecting with carriers that have direct cargo service to mainland China and Latin America.

In 2012, Atlanta will host the International Air Cargo Association Forum and Exhibition, a biennial trade show.

Jeff Pearse, the airport’s director of marketing and business development, attended the association’s most recent convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in November.

“Cargo generates very little revenue for the airport,” Mr. Pearse told GlobalAtlanta the day before he left for Malaysia. “But it contributes greatly to the economic vitality of the region.”

He said the airport wears “two hats” – that of a transport facility and an “instigator of economic activity” throughout the Southeast.

The convention is coming to Atlanta on its 50th anniversary.  It will have an estimated impact of $8 million on the city.  

Atlanta hosted the association’s first event in 1962.  

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...