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The perfect partners


The Greater Memphis Chamber is pursuing an ambitious strategy to jointly market three major hubs on three continents. Chris Kjelgaard reports.


H


aving styled itself ‘America’s Aerotropolis’ since 2006 because it is the USA’s only dual cargo- and-passenger hub, the city of


Memphis, Tennessee, is now pursuing an even more ambitious vision. The Greater Memphis Chamber recognises that not only are Paris and Guangzhou the second and third largest FedEx Express cargo hubs after Memphis itself, but each city’s largest airport is also a passenger hub for a SkyTeam alliance member airline. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is the home of Air France-KLM, while Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport is the main base of China Southern Airlines. Memphis itself is a hub for Delta Air Lines.


Meanwhile, FedEx operates nonstop cargo fl ights linking its ‘super hub’ at


www.routesonline.com


Memphis with Paris, which is now marketing itself as ‘Aerotropolis Europe’ – and Guangzhou, which FedEx calls ‘Aerotropolis Asia’.


The chamber wants to persuade all three to link together for marketing purposes as a global triumvirate of partner hubs, which would offer companies a convenient way to expand throughout North America, Europe and Asia.


Three cities: joint marketing John Moore, president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber, says that because of their respective FedEx and SkyTeam presences, the chamber is now in serious discussions with Paris about marketing the two cities jointly as partner hubs. According to Moore, the two cities intend to sign a cooperation


agreement at the Airport Cities Conference and Exhibition (ACE) in Memphis in April, which he says Paris mayor, Bertrand Delanoë, is planning to attend.


“The two cities are connected in ways unlike any other cities,” says Moore. “We feel they have the best passenger and cargo connectivity of any cities in the world.” Talks are by no means as advanced with Guangzhou, but Moore says Greater Memphis has been making progress with Guangzhou airport and government offi cials with the assistance of FedEx Express. “We hope to discuss the concept further at the ACE Conference,” says Moore.


An obvious corollary to adding Guangzhou to the partner hub cooperation agreement would be for


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