Qatar Airways Cargo’s Boeing 777 freighter has arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport to a grand water salute welcome in the presence of dignitaries, officials from Qatar Airways Cargo, Pittsburgh International Airport and media. The cargo carrier had launched Pittsburgh as its 13th freighter destination in the Americas.
Historically known for its robust steel industry, the manufacturing sector in ‘Steel City’ Pittsburgh has diversified over the years, with cutting-edge companies in life sciences, robotics, health care, information technology, nuclear engineering and energy joining leading firms in traditional industries as steel and chemicals. Products that will be transported into and out of Pittsburgh include heavy electronics, high-value goods and pharmaceuticals.
The twice-weekly QR8143 freighter flight takes off from Doha on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with stops at Luxembourg and Atlanta, Georgia before arriving in Pittsburgh. On the return from Pittsburgh on Thursdays and Sundays, the freighter stops at the cargo carrier’s European hub, Luxembourg, before arriving into Doha, Qatar. Complementing the airline’s daily wide-body A350 passenger flights to Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, the introduction of freighter service to Pittsburgh will inject an additional 200 tonnes of weekly capacity, offering businesses in the city and the state a direct air freight uplift to the cargo carrier’s global network of over 150 destinations.
The United States is an important market for the airline. With the launch of Pittsburgh, the award-winning cargo carrier’s Americas network has grown to a total of 17 belly and freighter destinations, out of which four are served exclusively with Boeing 777 freighters, namely Mexico City, Halifax, Quito and Pittsburgh.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “It is a proud moment for us to be the first international airline to commence scheduled freighter services to Pittsburgh, bridging the air cargo gap between Americas, Europe and Asia. The launch of this new route strengthens our commitment to supporting the American import and export markets and offers a direct freighter connection out of Pennsylvania to Qatar Airways Cargo’s expansive global network.”
Prior to the arrival of the inaugural flight, Qatar Airways Cargo and Pittsburgh International Airport celebrated the launch of this new route, inviting the local business community, freight forwarders and shippers to a networking reception.
Pittsburgh International Airport Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Christina Cassotis, said: “I thank Qatar Airways Cargo for partnering with us and recognising the demand and opportunity here in Pittsburgh. This global air freight connectivity positions Pittsburgh International as a logistics center for importing and exporting our region’s goods.”