Delta Cargo is looking to develop its network into Latin America (LATAM) while in North America it is focusing on US West coast growth.
The carrier’s director of sales for the Americas, Andy Kirschner, tells Air Cargo Week, despite the industry facing some challenges like excess capacity, and foreign exchange yield pressure, it is seeing strong numbers domestically and in LATAM, where the perishable season is in full force and looking “quite optimistic”.
Kirschner says Delta continues to focus on West coast growth in Seattle and Los Angeles and in the East in New York, where its two hubs are located.
He notes the carrier has seen record-breaking tonnage out of John F. Kennedy International Airport over the last few weeks. It is expanding its network to connect LATAM to the West Coast.
Delta will add routes in December, including a service between Orlando (US) and São Paulo (Brazil) and Atlanta (US) to Medellin (Colombia). This winter it will increase daily capacity between Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Atlanta as well as a daily widebody service between Atlanta and Buenos Aires.
But LATAM is the prime focus for Delta, Kirschner says: “Further developing our Latin network is an initiative for our company. Delta has increased ownership stake in GOL and expects open skies with Brazil in the next year and intends to file for anti-trust immunity shortly thereafter.
“We expect to receive anti-trust immunity and establish a joint venture with Aeroméxico in the coming months. Our plans are to closely partner with the leading carriers in the two largest markets in Latin America.”
Delta Cargo sales general manager for Latin America, Priscilla Byrne, adds the growth opportunity in LATAM is “very exciting”.
Perishables and pharmaceuticals remain key cargo markets for Delta Cargo, Kirschner says, and it has seen a positive trend in perishables revenue and volume over the last couple of years. “We also continue to see demand for our money back guarantee express products because of our vast domestic network and international flight schedules,” he adds.