For Avianca Cargo, international tonnage and domestic business in Ecuador and Peru remained almost unchanged in 2018, and this year load factors are expected to remain strong.
The airline handled more than 481,000 tonnes of cargo in 2018, and though 2019 has got off to a “relatively weak start”, Avianca Cargo believes that it can maintain strong load factors in key lanes without penalising yields.
On intra-American routes, consolidated cargo has fallen 14% and general cargo by 12% though other products are doing better. Flowers were up 1%, asparagus by 10% and seafood by 33%.
To the rest of the world, asparagus was down 15% though general cargo was up 8%, fruit and vegetables by 29%, flowers by 31% and mangoes by 40%.
The plan for 2019 is consolidation, Avianca Cargo tells Air Cargo Week: “Avianca Cargo´s expansion strategy is focused in consolidating our current operation in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean and strengthening its presence in Europe and Asia by developing new routes using its own capacity or by entering into strategic partnerships with other carriers.”
There challenges doing business in the Americas, such as exchange rate exposure to the US Dollar, political instability in Venezuela and weakness in Argentina and Brazil.
There are also great opportunities, such as developing stronger links to underserved markets including Africa and Australia, along with ever-growing demand for e-commerce.
Avianca Cargo sees the market getting more competitive, with jet fuel prices and exchange rates possibly affecting business.
The airline says: “As days go by, we are witness of all the incremental capacity and how markets do not grow at that same rate. Having said that, our challenge is to be a completely aligned company which easily adapts itself to all industry’s changes.”