The Port of Seattle’s bid to triple air cargo volume is paying off, with the addition of Asiana Airlines’ new cargo service at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. With the global air cargo market predicted to grow at an annual rate of 5% or higher for the next 20 years, Sea-Tac is investing $20 million in new airfield projects to expand, improve, and upgrade air cargo facilities. The aim is to be able to take advantage of better operational efficiency, increase the Port’s overall green efforts, and serve the larger freighter aircraft that are industry standard, such as the Boeing 747-8.
Asiana will be flying out of Sea-Tac five times a week with a 747-400, a significant addition to the freight capacity of the airport. It’s a smart move for the airline as well as the airport; air cargo trade out of Sea-Tac with Asia increased more than 12% in 2012, largely due to our strong regional exports, including fruit, seafood, and high-tech machinery. Despite a drop in European cargo traffic, overall air cargo volume increased nearly 2% last year.
The addition of Asiana brings Sea-Tac up to 6 regularly-scheduled cargo freighter services, and with plans, and money and time, to increase that number.