LATAM Airlines (SGO: LTM) is launching two new cargo routes dedicated to exports from the U.S. to Central and South America.
LATAM’s cargo division began flying the new routes with Boeing 767-300 freighters on Tuesday. One service departs Miami for Panama and then goes to Bogota, Colombia, while the second service is Miami to Cali, Colombia. Both routes have two frequencies per week.
Chilean-based LATAM said the new services meet customer requests for more options to transport general cargo, electronics, pharmaceuticals and dangerous goods to those cities. The new routes do not exist in LATAM’s passenger network.
The news comes on the heels of a new twice-weekly service between Miami and Lima, Peru, that started in late 2019. In recent years, LATAM Cargo has opened 10 destinations to facilitate trade between North and South America.
The flights will increase Panama’s import flows, but also boost its export potential by carrying goods produced there to Bogota, where shipments can connect with LATAM’s narrowbody passenger fleet that flies to many locations, or can transfer again to large aircraft in Santiago, Chile, Lima and Guarulhos, Brazil.
LATAM Cargo said the new Miami-Cali route also enables shippers to connect through its domestic network to Bogota and other cities.
The airline operates 11 Boeing 767-300 freighters that supplement its passenger network and is scheduled to receive another converted passenger plane from Boeing this year.
LATAM Airlines, formerly known as LAN Airlines and LAN Chile, is the largest airline group in Latin America, offering service to 143 destinations in 25 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) bought a 20% share of LATAM at the end of 2019 and is waiting for U.S. antitrust approval before materially collaborating and integrating their cargo operations.
UPS Strengthens Mexico Air Network
Meanwhile, UPS (NYSE: UPS) last week added a new flight for export shipments from Querétaro, Mexico, to the company’s Worldport in Louisville, Ky., where they can connect to destinations in the U.S. and around the world.
Operating Monday to Friday evenings, the new flight extends pickup services by up to three and a half hours, giving businesses more time to prepare their export packages as well as greater flexibility in the event of emergency shipments.
UPS said the route is being covered with an Airbus A300 aircraft with a 55-ton payload.
Atlanta-based UPS said the new route is in response to expected trade increases following the recent approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and will support manufacturing sectors such as automotive and aerospace, which have a large presence in the state of Querétaro.
To help customers in the region get started, UPS is offering preferential rates in the state, with discounts of up to 50 percent when opening a new account, and a 20 percent discount on domestic and export shipments at UPS Customer Centers located in Querétaro.