Water cannons welcomed the first flight of Amerijet's Boeing 767 into the Reno-Tahoe International Airport. The jet flew in from Columbus, Ohio, bringing cargo, which will be trucked to locations around the west by local trucking company ITS Logistics. ITS Chief Financial Officer Dan Allen says it’s a good partnership. "Amerijet brings a new service-- that for us, means $2 million of additional business in our community. On our end that means ten new drivers, $1 million in new equipment invested. So it's big news,” he explained.
Airport officials say it's also a good sign for northern Nevada. "It's reflective of something really positive going on in our community. This means that the warehousing and distribution here are really on an uptick," said Airport CEO Marily Mora. Cargo operations at the Reno-Tahoe airport have grown 4.5% over the past year.
Amerijet CEO David Bassett says he picked Reno over several other cities because of the people, the weather and the location. "It's a great spot for us to hub our cargo and move it on trucks to the far reaches of the Western United States," said Bassett. “I love the environment. I love the people,” he added.
Cargo from around the west will be picked up by truck, and flown from Reno to Columbus, where it’ll be delivered by trucks to points east.
Allen says this new business model takes less time than pure ground shipping, but costs less than overnight air. "Instead of 3 to 4 days via truck, they can get it here in a-day-and-a-half to two days using this hybrid model, without paying the price of an overnight shipment," Allen said.
Business leaders say the arrival of Amerijet is good for the company. Airport officials say it's good for the economy, but what about people living near the airport? Brian Kulpin of the Reno-Tahoe International Airport says neighbors won’t notice the daily flights. “In terms of noise, this is a modern state-of-the-art Boeing 767 arriving and departing mid-day,” he said. “This is a mid-day flight blending right in with our 737s with Southwest Airlines," Kulpin added.
Amerijet has set up a regional office in Reno with about five employees, but officials say they contract with local companies to provide ground support. ITS Logistics says it has added employees locally as well.