New air cargo liberalisation agreement for Latin America

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A new multilateral agreement to liberalise air cargo services in Latin America has established expanded seventh freedom traffic rights in the region.

The agreement among its ten signatories allows airlines from one Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC) member state to provide all-cargo services between two other signatory states without restrictions on routes and capacity.

The 10 states involved are Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela. The agreement took effect from late December and was facilitated by ICAO’s two regional offices.

The agreement will remain in effect for one year, until December 31 2021, and can be extended for a further year, at the discretion of LACAC states.

ICAO secretary general Fang Liu said: “Covid-19 has imposed significant constraints on the entire air transport industry and enterprises of all sizes are re-evaluating their business models.

“To remain flexible and responsive to countries’ needs, ICAO is adapting global regulatory approaches where this can aid pandemic response and global recovery efforts.”

Besides its immediate impacts in terms of pandemic response and recovery, ICAO has encouraged other countries to view the agreement as a significant step in advancing the UN regulatory body’s strategy for greater aviation liberalisation.

Added Liu: “Our hope would be to see this regional development evolve into a more permanent and global agreement enabling more liberalised and sustainable 21st century air services.

“In the near-term it should help increase the efficiency of vaccine distribution, and in the longer term it should enable air cargo and in particular e-commerce to play even more important parts in regional economic recovery and development.

“I strongly encourage other states and regions to take similar action.”  

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