- In March, regional carriers increased freight traffic by 22.1 percent year-on-year, while their capacity increased 34.9 percent, largely thanks to the recovery of passenger flight.
- The South American national government recently raised its forecast for this year, with exports up 24.2% and imports up 8.1%.
Return of airlines
Last week, Colombian national airline Avianca announced it would add two to four renovated A330 freighters to its fleet over the next two years, starting later this year. Two days after Avianca’s announcement, rival LATAM – a Latin American aerospace corporation received a converted B767-300 freighter, the third in an order for ten of the same type. Another will follow in September, with the remaining six to arrive next year. By the end of this year, management is expected to have 16 B767 freighters in operation.
The latest addition to the fleet is designed primarily to strengthen LATAM’s network from the region to North America and Europe. The next leg of the line will give the carrier the opportunity to undertake growth initiatives next year, including several new routes between South and North America, the company said. Signals of an increase in regional freight activity were first seen in February, when Mas Air Cargo Airline added an A330-200P2F to its fleet and Chief Executive Officer Luis Sierra has outlined ambitious growth plans. The airlines are expected to have a fleet of 18 by 2024 to serve the American, European and Asian markets.
The airline hopes that these expansion activities will be fueled by the airline’s long-awaited recovery in Latin America, which has been growing in recent months. In March, regional carriers increased freight traffic by 22.1 percent year-on-year, while their capacity increased 34.9 percent, largely thanks to the recovery of passenger flight. As a result, Latin America became the only region in the world with an increase in growth rate in March.
Transport market on the rebound
“The Latin American market is recovering” said Emir Pineda, director of air commerce and logistics at the Miami-Dade Aviation Administration.
LATAM reported a record amount of flowers with 16,400 tons of flowers delivered for this year’s “Mother’s Day”, but Latin American e-commerce is one of the main drivers, Pineda noted, adding that further that this number is growing at a faster rate than in North America. A reflection of this development is that in March, Qatar Airways announced a weekly flight between Hong Kong and Sao Paulo, with a B777-200 freighter, on behalf of Cainiao, an Alibaba Logistics subsidiary.
And this is not the only recent addition to international freight services to Brazil. Last month LATAM Cargo started weekly freighter flights between Mexico City and Sao Paulo. Besides, Brazil’s international trade is going strong. In March, exports increased by nearly 20%, while imports rose 22%. The South American national government recently raised its forecast for this year, with exports up 24.2% and imports up 8.1%. A large share of this traffic – especially in terms of exports – is being transferred by shipping lines, but capacity is limited, as the container routes have shifted ships from the North-South routes to other shipping lines. East-West route with higher profitability.