IAG Cargo's Valentine's Day flower shipments blossom

14 / 02 / 2014

  • IAG Cargo recorded a three per cent increase in flowers being transhipped through its Heathrow hub in the first week of February

    IAG Cargo recorded a three per cent increase in flowers being transhipped through its Heathrow hub in the first week of February

AS THE world’s economy shows tentative signs of recovery, data from IAG Cargo has shown that when it comes to Valentine’s Day this translates to a blooming trade in flowers for key Latin American producers.

Preliminary figures from the merged freight business of British Airways and Iberia, show that flower volumes from Colombia and Ecuador have increased by about 25 per cent on last year’s peak season, reflecting blossoming consumer confidence in Europe.

The increase in the flowers carried from Ecuador is partly down to the direct operations from Quito to IAG Cargo’s hub in Madrid that started in 2013.

This is supported by a three per cent increase in flowers being transhipped through IAG Cargo’s Heathrow hub in the first week of February compared to the same period last year.

David Shepherd, global head of commercial at IAG Cargo, notes: “While flower shipments have been relatively stable during the economic downturn, the initial data for our Latin American cargo flows show an increase on last year.

“Flowers are one of the most resilient products we fly, and since the economic downturn we have actually seen flower volumes grow, not decrease. We now boast some of the best floral facilities in the world to help get Valentine’s flowers to market looking as fresh as the day they were picked.”

To ensure that flowers from Latin America arrive in as fresh a condition as possible, IAG Cargo has been investing in its specialist Constant Fresh infrastructure at Madrid. The facilities now operate at a steady 2°C instead of 8°C which had previously been the lowest temperature available. The improvements also include the installation of compressors and evaporators both inside and outside of the building where flowers are stored.