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Air Cargo Continues to Grow in Houston

Qatar Airways Cargo is latest airline to start new service

November 1, 2011

© Houston Airport System
The arrival of Qatar Airways Cargo is yet another indication of the strong cargo activity taking place in Houston.
Through the first nine months of the year, George Bush Intercontinental Airport is on pace to handle more air cargo in 2011 than it has in any year since opening in 1969 and with the arrival of Qatar Airways Cargo those numbers are now promising to be even more impressive by year’s end.

Currently, the busiest year on record for processed cargo at Bush Airport is 2010, when 428,882 tons of materials were handled at the city’s largest airport. But through September of this year, the cargo operation totals at Bush Airport are a full 8 percent higher than the record pace set four years ago.

“The Texas economy depends on Houston Airports to connect local companies providing goods and services in the energy, medical and manufacturing sectors to emerging and expanding markets globally,” says Mario Diaz, the city of Houston's aviation director.

That responsibility is being met in dramatic fashion in 2011 with the arrival of eight new flights and two new carriers. Lufthansa Cargo made its Houston debut in April, while Qatar Airways Cargo is having its inaugural flight on November 3.

Qatar Airways Cargo will now be offering two weekly flights from Bush Airport to Doha, Qatar, with a brief stop in Luxembourg. The new service highlights the recent growth surrounding cargo operations at Bush Airport.

Last year’s totals were almost 16 percent higher than the totals recorded the previous year and the January through September numbers in 2011 are a full 5.6 percent ahead of last year’s record pace. The growth has been particularly impressive in the Middle East region, where air freight traffic has increased by 46 percent within the past year. The Middle East is now the third busiest region for air cargo operators at Bush Airport, trailing only Europe and the region classified as Asia/Africa/Australia.

“Houston welcomes the expanded cargo trade with the Middle East and we celebrate the growth trend in air cargo logistics to this region,” Diaz says. 
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