Despite regional instability and economic challenges, American Airlines’ managing director cargo sales Latin America, Carmen Taylor tells Air Cargo Week (ACW) the carrier is in for the long haul.
Taylor says though Argentina and Brazil have been hit by economic and political instability, while they are recovering American will look to utilise its Latin American network. American serves 50 cities across Latin America and has introduced Boeing 787 Dreamliners on Los Angeles – Sao Paulo services, and on Dallas Fort Worth – Buenos Aires and Dallas Fort Worth – Santiago. The airline is using newer, more fuel efficient aircraft in the region with better cargo capacity, such as replacing Boeing 777-300s instead of 777-200s and swapping 767-300s for 787s.
Taylor tells ACW: “We’ve seen increased competition across all regions given fuel prices, but we’ve been serving our Latin American customers for over 25 years now and we are well positioned going forward.”
She says American has a strong presence in Brazil in locations such as Sao Paulo and Argentina is expected to improve. “Brazil has been impacted by some economic and political instability, but we see great strength in our expansive and growing Latin America network that opens opportunities to and from locations around the world.
“We also believe that the newly elected government in Argentina will be favourable for trade expansion and resulting in new business opportunities to and from Argentina” she adds.
Latin America has hit perishable season, which includes fresh fish and seafood, particularly salmon, fruits and fresh flowers, which it connects to Europe and Asia via Miami, Dallas, New York and Los Angeles.
Taylor says: “The 2015-16 perishables season has gotten off to a great start and we’re optimistic it will lead to a good season overall.”
“We’ve really increased focus on our perishable sector, with increased tracking and temperature control capabilities, crucial to the proper shipment of the popular perishables goods out of the region.”
She is also hoping for a boost in cargo in the run up to the Rio Olympic Games. “Generally, for these types of events, we don’t see business until the month or two prior to the date, but are excited about the visibility and demand the Rio Olympics will bring to the region.”