Air Cargo in Latin America still falls behind in supporting supply chains

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the improvements in safety that have resulted from strong partnerships among aviation stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean, and urged governments in the region to use this as a template for working together in other areas.

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the improvements in safety that have resulted from strong partnerships among aviation stakeholders in Latin America and the Caribbean, and urged governments in the region to use this as a template for working together in other areas.

Speaking at the Latin America and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) Airline Leaders Forum, Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said that governments and industry have worked together for several years to drive safety improvements, contributing to a better than 50% reduction in jet hull loss accidents in 2014, compared to the average of the previous five years.

“Our success in safety is proof that the partnership of government and industry is powerful. We need to apply this formula to other areas that are holding back aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for economic development and job creation,” said Tyler.

In a forecast shared with SCMR earlier this year, IATA said all regions - including Latin America - are expected to see an improvement in profitability in 2015 compared with 2014.There are, however, stark differences in regional economies, which are also reflected in airline performance.

Tyler noted that in places like China, Singapore and the Middle East, governments have used the power of aviation’s connectivity to help build their economies and create wealth. “There is no reason that more governments in Latin America and the Caribbean cannot apply it to enable aviation to deliver a powerful economic boost at a time when many countries here are struggling.”

Tyler urged governments to use the same cooperative approach to accelerate infrastructure development, which lags behind demand for aviation connectivity.

-  “Inadequate aviation infrastructure is an economic handicap. We forecast regional demand in cargo and services, yet, key airports in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru already face growth constraints.”

Additionally, governments here should reform taxes and charges policies that impose crippling costs on the industry and overall economy.

-  “The region is rife with unreasonable tax and charges policies that hurt travel and constrain economic development. Brazil’s airlines pay some of the highest fuel charges in the world, 17% above the global average. Ecuador is looking at a similar pricing model that could raise fuel costs there by as much as 30%. Panama plans to raise air navigation charges 97% over three years. Peru levies an unjustified 16% VAT on air traffic control charges. Governments need to recognize that aviation’s greatest contribution is not in providing tax receipts to the treasury but in the growth and development it stimulates,” said Tyler.

Governments also need to honor their obligations under international agreements that allow their citizens to benefit from the global connectivity aviation provides.

-  “Venezuela refuses to permit airlines to repatriate $3.8 billion of their own money. The negative impact is dramatic. Airlines operating to Argentina are also seeing restrictions on repatriating funds. We are seeking to meet with the new government as soon as it is in office to find a solution that will preserve connectivity and the vital economic benefits it brings.”

 


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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Article Topics

Air Cargo · IATA · Latin America · All Topics
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