Sea transports have been a high-risk gamble for months because of jammed ports, poor shipping capacity and a lack of containers. Currently, transporting industrial goods on intercontinental routes by vessel takes almost twice as long as it did in pre-Covid times. In the midst of the maritime crisis, an increasing number of freight forwarders and shippers have meanwhile switched from ocean to air to get their goods delivered in time. By supporting the industry, Avianca Cargo benefits from the increased demand.
Main decks are jammed with freight
High demand and scarce capacity are an issue not really new to Avianca Cargo and its helmsman, Gabriel Oliva. But the tsunami of transport orders that has flooded the airline since the start of the pandemic is beyond anything previously seen by the Latin American carrier’s freight division. This even more so, because passenger traffic has thinned out considerably since 2020, reducing available lower deck cargo capacity. Literally speaking, the main deck space of their A330 freighter fleet was selling itself.
In addition, the carrier has access to 5 freighters belonging to its Mexican affiliate, AeroUnion – Aerotransporte de Carga Unión, consisting of 3 A300-BF and 2 B767-200ERF. They are mostly deployed on routes between Mexico and destinations located in the Pacific region of the USA.
Preighters complement freighters
Since the combined freighter capacity does not suffice to move all the goods requested by forwarding agents and shippers for being aired, Avianca Cargo has carried freight consignments in passenger aircraft, and operated empty flights just for cargo transport in bellies. This way, the airline added much needed capacity to the market and capitalized on the burgeoning demand.
And this demand has long since surpassed the airline's traditional bread-and-butter business: the air transport of flowers, vegetables, fish, and fruit. In Covid times, numerous industrial products such as automotive components, products from the mechanical engineering and agricultural industry or fisheries have gained more importance, broadening the range of products flown by Avianca Cargo. A trend the airline intends to strengthen by adding more freighters to the fleet, manager Oliva announces. But he did not specify when exactly this will happen.
iCargo spurs sales
Avianca continues strengthening its passenger operations, with the purpose of consolidate itself as the most convenient travel alternative for millions of customers in Latin America and worldwide, states the management. By 2023, the company expects to have more than 200 routes in operation, mostly direct point-to-point, and more than a 125 aircraft fleet. In addition, since October 2021 until the end of 2022, the company is reconfiguring the cabins of its A320 fleet to have 20% more capacity and more competitive prices. With an offer of three types of seats: Premium, Plus and Economy.
Further to this, the switch from its different electronic cargo management systems formerly used to the single unified booking and tracking IT platform “iCargo” spurred the cargo business remarkably. The e-tool, which proved to be a door opener, was provided by Indian specialist IBS Software and went online in the fall of 2021. Becoming one of the most significant IT developments for Avianca Cargo, with which they deliver more digital developments to be more connected with their customers and partners. In a nutshell, implementing IBS’s iCargo platform enabled Avianca to take an important leap forward.
Alain Eichman becomes new Sales Chief
On Thursday (17FEB22) Avianca Cargo has given Alain Eichman “una gran bienvenida como nuevo Director de Ventas!” The executive brings in more than 20 years of experience in different managerial positions as Managing Director and Sales Chief of multinational companies such as DHL, Panalpina, DSV, or AP Moller-Maersk. The graduate of the Colombian Universidad de Los Andes speaks Spanish, French and English fluently. In the logistics industry he is known as putting a strong focus on sustainability and developing long-term business relations, coupled with designing and executing commercial strategies.
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