DFW reaping benefits of partnership
November’s cargo throughput at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), up 3.4 percent on November 2011 at 56,137 tons, continued a picture of steady improvement in the final quarter.
October registered a 2.8 percent increase to 57,025 tons and the increased pace of year-over-year growth in November took the airport’s 11-month total to 607,925 tons, 1.8 percent higher than January to November 2011.
In the year to date, a significant increase in cargo uplift on passenger services operated through DFW by United Airlines and Delta Air Lines helped offset the tonnage losses recorded by British Airways and US Airways. The integrators, UPS and FedEx, were respectively 4.5 percent and 5.7 percent ahead of last year over the first 11 months.
There were mixed fortunes for freighter operators. Korean Air Lines, Singapore Airlines and Air China Cargo were all ahead year-over-year as of November, while volumes for Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, EVA Air and Lufthansa were down. All the Asian main-deck operators saw traffic slump in November, confirming the weakness of Asia-Pacific manufacturing markets, but Lufthansa turned a welcome corner, 24.2 percent ahead in the month after steady declines earlier in the year.
Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) became the newest freighter operator to serve DFW when it launched twice-weekly services to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport in November. The full routing is Tokyo, Chicago, DFW, Anchorage, Tokyo. The service has begun with B747-400 aircraft, but NCA plans to convert to B747-8s.
Singapore Airlines Cargo in August launched flights from DFW to São Paulo, Brazil, marking the first freighter flight between Dallas/Fort Worth and South America.
DFW is seeking to position itself as a prime central location for distribution of goods across the U.S., and is heavily promoting its two million square feet of cargo warehouse space and round-the-clock operations via seven unrestricted runways. The airport’s long-term goal, outlined in its current strategic plan, is to achieve a 22 percent increase in its cargo business by 2020, from 1.5 million tons last year (landed weight) to 1.8 million tons.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between DFW’s on-site Foreign Trade Zone and the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZA) last March with the aim of increasing trade between the U.S. and the United Arab Emirates. The organizations have been sharing best practices, distributing local business newsletters to one another, and investigating ways to further reach out to their respective business communities.
The MoU was signed following Emirates’ launch of a daily Dubai-DFW service in February.
Then, in September, representatives of DFW and Seoul’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) signed a partnership agreement designed to foster close cooperation. The airports are jointly promoting passenger services between the cities, and will share information and best practices in areas ranging from sustainability to customer service, engineering, airport amenities and airfield operations.
Incheon is the world’s second largest airport in terms of international cargo tonnage.
Korean Air currently operates five passenger services per week between DFW and Incheon, with plans to add two more flights in early 2013. The airline also operates eight cargo flights per week on the route. Korea’s Asiana Airlines began a five-per-week freighter service between DFW and Incheon in the fall.
With trade totaling $7.7 billion in 2011, Korea is the second largest trading partner for the DFW area. Major Korean corporations with North American headquarters in North Texas include Samsung, LG, and Hyundai Merchant Marine.