BYLINE: Michael Webber
Under seemingly ideal conditions, the development and expansion of alternative air cargo gateways is challenging. While aspiring gateways can cite models, too often would-be ''champions'' have failed to fully appreciate specific conditions supporting those successes.
As deluded thinking goes, "we''re going to start with international" makes a good bookend with the equally fallible "we''ve been unsuccessful with passengers but cargo should be easier." Unfortunately, U.S. airports unable to justify flights to Louisville or Memphis are likely to find Luxembourg and Shanghai no less challenging.
A market''s ability to garner and sustain international service depends upon a variety of inter-dependent factors.
"We have no congestion!" Airports precariously make this pitch without recognizing what the forwarder or carrier may be hearing is "nobody else will come here but we think you should." For all the complaining about congestion at Miami International, New York Kennedy International and Los Angeles International, diversification has rarely amounted to more than new service at other major hubs. Beyond West Coast beachhead LAX, for example, Asian carriers added frequencies at Dallas/Ft. Worth International and …