October 17, 2017: Qatar Airways Cargo’s first Boeing 777 freighter arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport last Thursday to a grand water salute welcome in the presence of dignitaries, officials from Qatar Airways Cargo, Pittsburgh International Airport and media. The cargo carrier launches Pittsburgh as its thirteenth freighter destination in the Americas.
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.
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.
With the launch of Pittsburgh, the 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.
Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways, 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.”
Christina Cassotis, chief executive officer, Pittsburgh International Airport, said, "We are thrilled that Qatar Airways Cargo has selected Pittsburgh as its next North American cargo destination.”
The United States being an important market for the carrier, it has expanded its footprint in the Americas with the introduction of four freighter destinations this year: Quito, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Miami, connecting the burgeoning import and export market in the Americas to the rest of the world.
The cargo carrier recently received its first nose-loader Boeing 747-8F and thirteenth Boeing 777 freighter to meet its growing cargo operations.