June 5, 2020, Bogotá, Colombia. While most part of the air industry remains paralyzed due to COVID-19’s propagation, LATAM Airlines Group’s cargo subsidiary in Colombia continues operating and has been able to transport 11.300 tons of cargo abroad to this date. Additionally, by adapting passenger aircraft in order to transport cargo, the company totals 316 tons transported in the domestic market.
By continuing its operation, LATAM Group addresses the needs of different industries that depend on connectivity and exports, like the flower sector. The company’s operation mainly focuses on transporting flowers to the United States, totaling around 4.300 tons of flowers transported during the most recent Mother’s Day season. This implies a 47% increase in comparison to the tons transported in 2019.
“The current situation is challenging the supply chains world-wide. Our cargo operation expansion allows us to offer our clients capacity at a time when it is lacking due to the reduction in passenger flights around the world. As strategic partners, we quickly reacted to offer them new alternatives and we hope to be able to continue doing so in the markets that need it” stated Andrés Bianchi, LATAM Cargo Group’s CEO.
Well aware of airlines’ important role regarding regions’ economic flows and supply, LATAM Cargo adapted its operation to carry out cargo-exclusive flights in Airbus 320 passenger aircraft. By doing this, the company has been able to transport 280 tons of food, medicines and other goods required by San Andrés Island and Leticia, totaling more than 316 tons along the Colombian territory. LATAM has also adapted some of its flagship passenger aircraft (Boeing 787-800) to transport Colombian goods to Chile and Australia as part of the international operation.
“The current scenario, caused by COVID-19’s propagation, remains a tremendous challenge for the air industry, with loss projections for the sector totaling $314 billion USD during 2020. In light of this, our operation focuses on implementing the necessary measures to provide operational continuity and sustainability in order to continue supporting sectors and regions that depend on our connectivity to sustain their economies” stated Santiago Álvarez, LATAM Airlines Colombia’s Executive Director.
LATAM Group has offered its structure, connectivity and transportation capacity to help Governments fight the pandemic. The company has transported over 200 tons of medical supplies in South America, including masks, rapid COVID-19 tests and medicines, among other health-related goods.
In Colombia, LATAM transported 20 thousand kits for COVID-19 detection for the Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo organization. The group also donated the air transportation for 3.350 non-perishable food boxes that are part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ campaign: “Colombia está contigo, un millón de familias” (Colombia is with you, a million families). They benefited vulnerable families from Buenaventura and Corozal.