Opening the US gateways

THE state of the US economy and soft exports from Asia across the Pacific have undermined even some of the major US gateways. Statistics for Los Angeles International Airport show a 4.1 per cent drop in overall tonnage in the first six months of 2011.

The results for Los Angeles could have been worse, were it not for Asian airlines’ growing interest in exports from their part of the world to Latin America. With its cornucopia of freighter and passenger aircraft departures to the southern hemisphere, Miami is the chief gateway for the region, but the proliferation of links to Asia and a number of Latin routes make Los Angeles another major gateway for this traffic.

Asian-Latin America traffic is a key factor behind Asiana’s launch of all-cargo flights to Miami. It joins Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Korean, who all have multiple weekly freighter departures to their home markets from Florida.

Notwithstanding the Asia-Latin America flows, Miami’s throughput was down 1.7 per cent after the first seven months of the year. Asian volumes were up 8.7 per cent.

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