Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is hiring consulting firm ICF International to help it recruit new airlines and attract more routes to Atlanta, as it seeks to maintain its status as the world’s busiest airport.
The airport is striking a five-year contract worth up to $1.25 million with ICF for passenger air service development consulting.
Atlanta’s move comes as airports in cities such as Beijing and Dubai grow rapidly, threatening to unseat Atlanta as the world’s busiest airport. Chicago O’Hare last year took the title for the most flights, while Hartsfield-Jackson still had the most passengers.
In its work for the Atlanta airport, ICF will conduct an air service market analysis on emerging international markets, develop research, charts and graphs to present to targeted airlines and evaluate the impact of trade agreement changes.
“In order to convince airlines to serve ATL and to expand their routes, it is imperative to create business cases that make sense to them,” according to airport documents. Those business cases “almost always need validation by an independent third party, one that the airlines use themselves,” the airport added.
ICF will also evaluate and recommend incentive programs.
Hartsfield-Jackson last year launched a $2 million international flight incentive program, with a focus on flights from the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The program waives landing fees for one to two years for airlines starting new international routes and offers matching promotional funds.
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