Tag: London

Got Cargo? British Airways Wants to Fly it to London

Founder of Silicon Hills News

IAG Cargo's team: (LtoR) Camilo Garcia, head of Global Key Accounts, David Shepherd, president of commercial business and Joseph LeBeau, vice president of commercial, the Americas.

IAG Cargo’s team: (LtoR) Camilo Garcia, head of Global Key Accounts, David Shepherd, president of commercial business and Joseph LeBeau, vice president of commercial, the Americas.

On any given day, IAG Cargo might be transporting computer components, chocolates, spare parts for machinery or fruits and vegetables through Austin to London.

And it might be flying in salmon, automotive and other parts into Austin Bergstrom International Airport from its hub at the Heathrow Airport.

“A market like this is great because it’s so diversified,” said David Shepherd, head of commercial business for IAG Cargo.

IAG Cargo wants to make sure Austin companies can deliver products worldwide as fast as possible, Shepherd said. They are particularly targeting the growing high-tech industry in the region.

Shepherd spoke at a press conference Friday morning at the Austin Chamber of Commerce offices in downtown Austin. Four British journalists flew to Austin to learn more about the company’s operations here. They were going to go on a tour of the city and visit Freescale Semiconductor and then have a special dinner at Salt Lick.

IAG Cargo formed in 2011, after the merger of British Airways with Iberia. The company has $1.5 billion in revenue annually and is the seventh largest cargo company in the world. It has more than 2,700 employees worldwide.

“We’re not the biggest but we believe we’re the best,” Shepherd said.

In March, IAG Cargo began offering services out of Austin when British Airlines launched its direct flights between Austin and London. The company has 380 aircraft and connects to 350 destinations worldwide through its hubs at Heathrow and Madrid.

It’s not just geeks flying from Tech City London to Austin’s bustling startup scene. It’s a lot of cargo too.

IAG Cargo transports general cargo, live animals; secure products, gold, airmail, dangerous goods, human remains and courier services.

IAG Cargo has 20 gateways in the U.S. and operates more than 45 flights per day. It already operates out of Dallas and Houston and Austin was the next logical expansion, said Joseph LeBeau, IAG Cargo’s vice president of commercial, the Americas.

“It’s been in the works for about two years,” he said.

“Texas has been very kind to IAG Cargo,” he said. “Between Dallas and Houston, for as long as I can remember, we have been 100 percent full every day.’’

The cargo flights on the Austin to London route were 88 percent full after just three weeks and now operate at 90 percent to 95 percent capacity, LeBeau said.

“It’s not all Austin. It’s being fed into by San Antonio and Laredo,” he said. “This route eases the capacity crunch at Houston and Dallas.’’

Austin is shipping high tech products from the “Silicon Hills” as well as aviation and oilfield spare parts and equipment and pharmaceuticals.

IAG Cargo has a fully functional warehouse at the Austin airport and is expected to get its constant climate accreditation shortly for its refrigerated cargo. Its transatlantic service began daily service as of May 1st and is serviced by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner that can transport up to 44,000 pounds of cargo per night.

Joseph LeBeau providing an overview of IAG Cargo's Austin and North American operations.

Joseph LeBeau providing an overview of IAG Cargo’s Austin and North American operations.

Spredfast Opens an Office in London

77489v4-max-250x250Austin-based Spredfast, the social media marketing firm, keeps on making news.
The company announced on Thursday plans to open its first European office in London. The company has customers in more than 20 different countries. It has 150 employees nationwide with 110 of those in Austin. It expects to hire 120 people this year.
The expansion follows a record funding round for Spredfast in January when the company announced it raised $32.5 million.
Spredfast named Oana Neumayer, formerly vice president of EMEA, to lead its U.K. operations.
“Spredfast experienced unprecedented growth in 2013, as did the social media market itself — changing from a mere broadcast medium to one that is much more targeted,” Rod Favaron, CEO of Spredfast, said in a news release. “With this in mind, our company is committed to providing every brand, worldwide, with the most robust, social relationship platform on the market so they can reach their customers in a highly targeted, effective way and build lasting relationships. By opening an office in the U.K. and bringing on Oana, we are taking our first step — of many — towards global expansion.”
Spredfast has created a software platform that allows companies to communicate with customers across all kinds of different social networks from Twitter to Facebook to Pinterest to Youtube.

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