Thursday, September 14, 2017

Qatar Airways to begin cargo flights to Pittsburgh International Airport (KPIT)

Qatar Airways Cargo is landing at Pittsburgh International Airport.

The Persian Gulf airline will start twice weekly cargo flights to the airport on October 11th.

It will be the first international carrier to begin freighter service at Pittsburgh International.

"We're thrilled that Qatar Airways Cargo has selected Pittsburgh as its next U.S market for its cargo flights. It is another reflection of our region's growing economy. This is a significant announcement and we thank Qatar Airways Cargo for their confidence in us, and look forward to additional opportunities with the airline in the future," Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said in a statement.

Qatar is expected to deliver 200 tons of cargo into Pittsburgh each week. The route will take it from Doha to Luxembourg to Atlanta and then Pittsburgh and back to Luxembourg and Doha.

It will provide the Steel City not only with access to European markets but a link to Asia and the Middle East, the airline stated.

Products expected to be transported into and out of Pittsburgh include heavy electronics, high-value manufactured goods and pharmaceuticals.

Qatar currently serves 17 destinations in the Americas, including Philadelphia. Pittsburgh will be one of four served exclusively with a Boeing 777 freighter.

"Qatar Airways has presented a huge opportunity for our region," said Christina Cassotis, CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which operates Pittsburgh International.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker said: “Qatar Airways is proud to be supporting the U.S. economy by opening yet another major U.S. commercial region to global markets. Our business strategy is based on consultation and building productive relationships with local government and business leaders, to provide global air freight connectivity that benefits the city, region and state. In doing so, we support the regional economy, create jobs, help grow local businesses and increase export capacity. We look forward to connecting Pennsylvania to the rest of our global network.”

The Post-Gazette reported in February that Qatar was considering a cargo flight to Pittsburgh. 

Airport officials have been courting the airline for passenger and cargo service for the last two years.

One local connection to Qatar is Carnegie Mellon University, which has a branch campus in Doha, the country's capital.

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