American Airlines Cargo had a good year in France during 2017, according to AA Cargo regional sale manager Kathleen Lesage.
“In 2017, we carried over 20 per cent more freight than in 2016,” Lesage tells Air Cargo Week. “During our peak season, we operate roughly 84 flights a week to and from CDG.
“Last year was also significant for us because we expanded our summer-long trucking service to serve a greater number of customers by connecting cities not in our direct network with flights to American’s US hubs and, ultimately in Asia and Latin America.
New services from Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Marseille were set up to serve our seasonal flights from Barcelona to Chicago, rather than trucking from the south of France up to Paris, and this proved very successful.”
From CDG, American serves a number of key hubs in the US. But those that did particularly well in terms of French exports were Charlotte, Philadelphia and Raleigh Durham.
The outlook for the remainder of 2018 is good, she continues, as customers are reporting that the positive situation in 2017 is continuing into this year. Pharma and aerospace are performing especially well.
“Pharma continues on an upward curve and from Paris we have seen particular demand to New York JFK, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth for both active and passive shipments,”
Lesage says. “The difference this year is that there is additional demand for our specialist services, such as the dedicated ExpediteTC, from a number of points in the French provinces.”
This is especially true for aerospace with cargo originating from various points across ‘l’Hexagone’. An additional focus for 2018 is to invest in areas such as training, tools and infrastructure designed to make customer service even more efficient.
In February, American officially announced a partnership with IBS Software, which will help modernise the technology platform that supports cargo operations.
“The investment in better tools for our global team is a huge step in our ongoing effort to encourage change and modernise,” states Lesage.
“Once the additional seasonal services come to an end, in the autumn, we have to be creative and find ways to ensure all our customers’ cargo gets moved as efficiently as always,” she continues.
“Along with year-round operations to key U.S. hubs from CDG, we also have four mini export peaks in the winter season — Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day — that are always very busy for us.”