Emirates SkyCargo on April 6 will launch a weekly nonstop flight between Atlanta and Dubai, becoming the 11th cargo airline with service to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Set to be served by a Boeing 777 freighter, the flight was announced at the airport’s Air Cargo Appreciation Day as it also awarded other carriers for recent investments. The Emirates flight is expected to add $6 million in impact to the metro area’s economy.
The announcement also came hours after news broke that the airport was seeking Atlanta City Council approval for an incentives program aimed at persuading airlines to start new international cargo or passenger routes to Atlanta.
Funded with $2 million annually from the airport’s general fund, the incentives would allow qualifying airlines to receive up to $25,000 worth of promotional assistance per new route. Landing fees, which are relatively inexpensive in Atlanta but still cost airlines upwards of $100,000 annually, would also be waived for one year.
Since the program starts in July, Emirates SkyCargo would only be eligible if it adds a new route or increases frequency of the route after the start date. The airport plans for the program to be in place for five years.
Emirates does not have passenger operations at the Atlanta airport.
The freighter to Atlanta will integrate with Emirates’ cargo routes around the world, providing new opportunities for customers, “especially the Middle East, Asia and Africa, as well as for businesses in the greater Atlanta area,” said Nabil Sultan, the company’s divisional senior vice president for cargo, in a news release.
Other honorees at the Air Cargo Appreciation ceremony included:
-Lufthansa Cargo, All-Cargo Airline of the Year – Lufthansa started its own Boeing 777 freighter to Atlanta in November.
-Delta Air Lines, Passenger/Cargo Airline of the Year
-Kuehne & Nagel, Freight Forwarder of the Year
-J&P Hall Express, Trucking Company of the Year