Exclusive – Viracopos Takes U-Turn in Cargo

By granting cargo carriers exemptions of up to 100 percent on landing fees, Brazil’s largest freight airport hopes to emerge as quickly as possible from the valley of tears. VCP’s striking price offensive is an essential part of the airport’s new strategy to attract additional operators and stop the dramatic decline of tonnage.

Will the incentive bring cargo flights and tonnage up again at VCP?  -  company courtesy
Will the incentive bring cargo flights and tonnage up again at VCP? - company courtesy

The incentive comes as response to continuously shrinking freight volumes that have dropped dramatically during the last 2 years, as official data provided by VCP clearly demonstrate. According to figures, both imports and exports are affected. While imports shrank by more than 20 percent in 2015 compared to 2014 and continued declining 21 percent during the first nine months of 2016, exports dropped by almost 15 percent in 2015 y-o-y and kept on contracting (-5%) during the first three quarters of 2016 in a yearly comparison.
To make things even worse, also the courier business has become part of the downwards spiral at VCP, declining nearly 18 percent from January to the end of September 2016 compared with the prior-year period.
Attractive proposals
To not only halt the scary downward trend but also give a boost to the spluttering cargo engine, the VCP managers have launched a comprehensive incentive program for freight carriers, guaranteeing newcomers landing fee exemptions of 100% for the first 24 months of operation.
States Commercial Director Jorge Lobarinhas: “Our new scheme offers attractive, transparent and nondiscriminatory incentives and with them, the airport will further strengthen its position as the largest cargo airport in Brazil.” A role that had been put into question lately due to sluggish business activities resulting in sharply contracted volumes.
Those that can benefit from the program that is subdivided into various categories are commercial freight carriers who meet a number of key requirements:

  • Candidates must operate all-cargo aircraft; passenger airlines carrying freight in the lower decks of their jetliners are not qualifying for the incentive.
  • Newcomers integrating Viracopos in their international route map and/or existing VCP clients intending to up flight frequencies to/from VCP on transcontinental or intercontinental routes.
  • An applicant must guarantee a minimum operational regularity of 80 percent every single month.
  • Landing fee exemptions of 100 percent are provided to new clients that operate at least two international line-haul frequencies per week.

Effective until end of 2017
The airport management stresses that in case of codeshare flights, only the cargo carrier operating the flight can benefit from the program.
The amenities granted by the incentive scheme are valid until December 31, 2017. Other commercial support that does not refer to fees can be negotiated separately by freight carriers, stresses the VCP management.
Market analysts consider VCP’s initiative a positive signal to stimulate cargo traffic and return to the growth path. However, much will depend on the political situation in Latin America’s largest economy, they stress. Without a fundamental U-turn in the country’s economic policy, single initiatives as announced by Viracopos will fail to be effective.


Heiner Siegmund

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