Qatar Airways Cargo has announced it will launch a new freighter service to Los Angeles from April 4, 2015.
It will mark the airline’s fourth US freighter destination after Houston, Chicago and Atlanta, and will be served twice-weekly by Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft. The service will provide 100 tons of cargo capacity per flight, departing Doha on Wednesdays and Saturdays via Luxembourg and Mexico to LAX.
"Los Angeles is a significant global cargo hub, which is reflected by the increasing airfreight volumes seen at Los Angeles Airport," Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo Ulrich Ogiermann said in a statement.
The LAX freighter will add to the current US destinations currently served by Qatar Airways which include New York, Chicago, Washington, Houston, Dallas and Miami.
"With the new destination, we are able to offer our customers capacity and five-star service into, and out of, this key cargo destination in the United States,” added Ogiermann.
Los Angeles ranks fifth in the US in terms of air cargo volumes processed, and in 2014 LAX handled more than two million tons of cargo with a value of more than $91.6 billion.
Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsay said Qatar Airways new service will also boost the local economy.
"The new service will provide Southern California businesses with more choices to ship between the West Coast, the Gulf/Middle East and beyond," said Lindsey. "It will also open our markets to Qatari businesses."
Qatar Airways said it uplifted more than 49,000 tons of airfreight from the US market in 2014, and will continue to be a key growth market for Qatar Airways Cargo, with the market predicted to add more than one million additional tons of freight before 2018.
In 2014, over 100,000 tons of perishable products were exported by air from Los Angeles, with around 40,000 destined for the Middle East and Europe. Qatar Airways cargo has a dedicated QR Fresh service which provides specific handling and storage facilities for the movement of perishable goods.