Cathay Pacific Cargo Launches IAH-HKG Freighter Flights
The Houston Airport System celebrated Friday the inaugural
flight of Cathay Pacific Cargo at George Bush Intercontinental
Airport (IAH). The thrice weekly all-cargo service from Houston to
Hong Kong operates on Cathay Pacific Cargo's Boeing 747-400
"Especially during a tough economy, we appreciate this new
growth at Bush Intercontinental," said Rick Vacar, director of
aviation for the Houston Airport System. "We realize this is a bold
move by Cathay Pacific Cargo in this economic environment, and it
demonstrates the strength of Houston as an outstanding cargo market
within the Americas."
Cathay Pacific Cargo operates the Hong
Kong-Anchorage-Miami-Houston-Anchorage-Hong Kong route. Cargo
loaded in Houston includes oil and gas equipment, industrial
machinery and high-tech components. Shippers will then distribute
the freight through Hong Kong to Houston's key trading partners in
Singapore, Japan, India, China and Australia.
"We are bringing a very strong suite of cargo products to the
local marketplace," said Scott Mowrer, senior vice president,
Americas, for Cathay Pacific Airways. "Coupled with the strength of
our Hong Kong hub and extensive route network throughout Asia,
we're going to be a pretty compelling option for shippers
throughout the greater Houston area."
"It's exciting to welcome our twelfth freighter operator," said
Vacar. "The risk we assumed when expanding our cargo facilities at
Bush Intercontinental years ago is now paying great dividends with
the landing of new cargo service in Houston."
By investing $3.1 billion in airport infrastructure from 1999 to
2004, including a $180 million air cargo distribution center,
Houston attracts global carriers -- Cathay Pacific is the fourth
Asian-based airline since 2006.
"We are very fortunate to have plenty of space to grow here in
Houston and we still are able to expand our Cargo Center," adds
Vacar. "It's our flexibility to accommodate growth that results in
new carriers recognizing Houston's strategic location and
fast-growing cargo market."
The cargo operation features advanced computer technology, which
helps US Customs clear cargo while it's still in the air. The Cargo
Center offers 550,000 square feet of warehousing and ramp capacity
for 20 widebody aircraft.
Houston is the nation's fourth largest exporter overall and the
tenth largest air cargo exporter. Houston's airport handled more
than 372,000 metric tons of air freight in 2008.