The air cargo industry must show flexibility in any reaction to the continuing political turmoil in South America, said speakers at this year’s Air Cargo Americas.
Events of recent years, caused by a period of prolonged political upheaval in the continent, have led to interruptions in trade with other nations and a protracted spell of financial uncertainty.
Protestors in Chile, for example, normally one of the more South American stable countries, have led angry and at times violent demonstrations over a deterioration in wages and living conditions.
“We served the Venezuelan market for 20-25 years but we had to get out of that market because of the constraints put on us – the key is to be able to find another source of revenue business if that happens,” said Amerijet International chief executive Vicken Karjian, in response to this turbulent situation.
“We know we are in a dynamic region, whether it is weather, hurricanes or political unrest, so flexibility becomes an important part [of responding to that.
“Bolivia has this year had a presidential election which has caused turmoil, so all these things we have to be aware of and understand the long- and short-term impact to our business.”
Avianca Cargo commercial director Carlos Andres Arango agreed, saying: “[The Geo-political situation] can affect a lot.
“For example, [with the situation in] Chile and Ecuador, without exports of flowers to Miami and Europe, in one week it can really affect the business, because then we have cargo in Europe waiting to come back.
“We have to be really careful and flexible to change things very quickly.”