Air Cargo Americas: Air cargo must be flexible in response to political turmoil

By Damian Brett

Air Cargo Americas conference session

The air cargo industry must be flexible in order to respond to the ongoing political unrest in South America, according to speakers at Air Cargo Americas.

The last few years has seen several incidents of political unrest in South America leading to disruptions to trade with other countries and economic uncertainty.

Even Chile, seen as one of the more stable economies in the region, has seen protestors take to the streets and clash with police over recent weeks as they object to stagnating wages and living conditions.

Amerijet International chief executive Vicken Karjian said that in response to these fast-changing situations, airlines must be flexible.

“We served the Venezuelan market for 20-25 years but we had to get out of that market because of the constraints put on us – the key is to be able to find another source of revenue business if that happens.

“We know we are in a dynamic region, whether it is weather, hurricanes or political unrest, so flexibility becomes an important part [of responding to that.

“As a team, internally, within our own airline, we always have a plan to go back in when conditions allow us.

“Bolivia has this year had a presidential election which has caused turmoil, so all these things we have to be aware of and understand the long- and short-term impact to our business.”

Avianca Cargo commercial director Carlos Andres Arango added: “[The Geo-political situation] can affect a lot.

“For example, [with the situation in] Chile and Ecuador, without exports of flowers to Miami and Europe, in one week it can really affect the business, because then we have cargo in Europe waiting to come back.

“We have to be really careful and flexible to change things very quickly.”

Air Cargo Americas is taking place in Miami from October 29-31

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