As the largest market in South America, Brazil is of great importance to LATAM Cargo, CEO Andres Bianchi tells Air Cargo Week.
He says that LATAM’s network has been designed to feed imports into Brazil from North America and Europe, and outbound capacity has been optimised to feed cargo from other South American markets via Sao Paulo.
Bianchi says this makes LATAM less reliant on Brazilian exports and rebalances the network.
Sao Paulo is the main destination in South America. Bianchi says: “This is compounded by the fact that a significant amount of cargo going to other places in Brazil is routed by Sao Paulo. Manaus and Rio de Janeiro are next in terms of volumes. Export-wise, while Sao Paulo is relevant, Bogota, Santiago, Quito and Lima are more relevant as origins to the United States.”
China is an important partner for the whole of Latin America, but is suffering its slowest economic growth in a quarter of a century.
It is hard to know how much of an impact this is having on Brazil, with Bianchi commenting: “China’s slowdown will impact most Latin American economies as they have benefited from its growth in recent years. Internal issues have also played a role on the deceleration of South American economies so it is hard to isolate the impact China is having.”
Whatever happens, cargo is part of LATAM Airlines Group’s DNA, with Bianchi saying: “It was integral to the plan the new ownership group had when they bought the company in mid 1990s and has remained so.”
The group believes that cargo operations support profitability and resilience of passenger operations.
Bianchi says: “The group has committed both human and financial resources to ensure the cargo business has the tools it needs to remain the leader in the South America market.”