Mayor Turner’s trade mission leads to cargo airline service at Bush airport

HOUSTON — Great Britain’s only all-cargo airline, Cargo Logic Air (CLA), will launch service this month from George Bush Intercontinental Airport after the airline’s chief commercial officer met with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s staff members during a July trade and investment mission led by the mayor to Great Britain, Germany and Turkey.

CLA aircraft will provide cargo service to and from Houston to Frankfurt, Germany, and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, every Thursday and Sunday. Its Boeing 747-400 freighters will arrive in Houston on a route from Mexico City.

CLA’s deal with Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport was made final during the mission when mayoral staff provided details to CCO Steve Harvey about how the airport could provide administrative and logistical support for the cargo flights.

The new cargo service will add to the $30 billion pumped into the Houston area economy yearly thanks to passenger and cargo business at the three airports in the Houston Airport System.

“The Houston delegation explored opportunities to expand Houston’s economic and cultural reach around the world,” Mayor Turner said of the recent trade and investment mission. “The new CargoLogicAir flights add important connectivity to further develop Houston’s international trade.”

The mission focused on promoting Houston’s advantages for investment and trade and enhancing key government and business relationships between the Houston region and the United Kingdom, Germany and Turkey. The delegation, including leaders from the Greater Houston Partnership, hosted a series of forums to exchange best practices and intellectual capital in energy, life sciences, manufacturing and logistics — including air cargo.

Through its diverse connections with maritime shipping nearby at the Port of Houston and a robust set of rail lines and truck routes available, Bush Airport in 2016 handled 459,800 metric tons of cargo, half of it shipped internationally.

From January to June 2017, Bush Airport handled more than 220,870 metric tons of domestic and international air cargo, a growth of 7.6 percent year-to-year. The air cargo market at Bush Airport grew in every international region, including growth in the Mexico market by more than 218 percent, growth in the European market by more than 7 percent, and growth in the Middle East market by nearly 13 percent year-over-year.

“Intermodal and cargo handling infrastructure and services are a vital part of the Houston Airport System,” Houston Aviation Director Mario Diaz said. “Houston Airports remains committed to developing and improving intermodal connectivity, and we look forward to welcoming our newest cargo airline partner, CargoLogicAir. New services such as these help Houston Airports achieve its mission of connecting the people, businesses, cultures and economies of the world to Houston.”

Other cargo carriers operating through Bush Airport include Air France Cargo, Cargolux Airlines, Cathay Pacific Cargo, China Airlines Cargo, DHL, Emirates Sky Cargo, FedEx, Lufthansa Cargo, Qatar Airways Cargo, and UPS. The carriers offer 21 weekly all-cargo flights from Houston to Europe, Asia and the Middle East.