Premium products flourishing
For IAG Cargo and its constituent elements, British Airways and Iberia, South America provided good pickings in 2015, both in terms of volumes as well as income. Rodrigo Casal, IAG Cargo’s regional commercial manager for South America, told the ITJ how this came about, and looked forward to the opening of three new routes between Europe and Latin America in April and May.
IAG Cargo saw particularly strong global demand in 2015 for its premium products. Its service called constant climate, which focuses on the handling of pharmaceutical products as well as other temperature-sensitive goods, grew by 37% in revenue terms compared to the twelve months of 2014. «We extended the number of constant climate-enabled stations in our network to 110 last year. Over and above this we opened five new stations in Latin America in the course of the year too, namely in Quito, Guayaquil, Montevideo, El Salvador and Santo Domingo. We also launched strategically-important new routes to and from Havana, Medellín and Cali,» Rodrigo Casal, IAG Cargo’s regional commercial manager for Latin America, told the ITJ.
33 new destinations in the region
«So we currently serve 33 destinations across the entire length and breadth of Central America, South America as well as the Caribbean,» Casal summarised, adding that he is convinced that IAG Cargo’s customers are thus offered «outstanding connectivity to markets worldwide.» This, he said, makes Latin America a very important strategic market for the airline, which, Casal is sure, it will continue to be for the foreseeable future too.
While exports are dominated by the categories perishables, including asparagus and other vegetables, fruit, flowers, fish and meat, the main imports tend to be consumer products, technology and pharmaceutical goods. Pharmaceuticals in particular are on a strong upward trajectory, with the experts from pharmaceuticalsinsight.com predicting that the Peruvian market, for example, could to grow to USD 3 billion by 2024 (from USD 1.7 billion in 2014). The Costa Rican market, in turn, is expected to experience the largest increase in pharmaceutical sales over the next ten years.
Gatwick twice, Madrid once
IAG Cargo, Casal pointed out, «is supporting this growing stream of business with the launch of two new routes in 2016, serving Lima and San José.» The route to and from San José will be operated from London Gatwick, and will offer two departures a week from April onwards. Flights to and from Lima, which will also operate from Gatwick, will depart thrice a week from May.