February 14, 2018: In the last 21 days, LATAM Cargo used about 163 freighters to transport over 9,500 tonnes of flowers to meet the growing Valentine’s Day demand.
As per estimates, over two million fresh flowers per aircraft were shipped by LATAM Cargo during the season, which also coincides with Mother’s Day in April and May — the peak season for fresh flower exports worldwide.
Between January 17 and February 7, over 163 freighters departed from Ecuador and Colombia, almost tripling the number of regular weekly shipments.
Between Bogota and Miami, LATAM Cargo’s traffic rose to 2,670 tonnes, compared to an average traffic of 360 tonnes per week.
Its Quito-Miami route was equally busy, with 3,740 tonnes as against a weekly average of 450 tonnes.
Overall, LATAM Cargo carried over 4,310 tonnes of fresh flowers from Colombia and 5,220 tonnes from Ecuador.
“During this holiday season, we once again surpassed last year’s record. The figures are testimonials to LATAM Cargo’s leadership in the region, and reflects the trust from our customers in our perishable service, which ensures the highest standards during the entire shipping process,” said Felipe Caballero, commercial vice president for Central and North America of LATAM Cargo.
In January and February, LATAM Cargo aircraft transported flowers from Bogota and Medellin in Colombia, as well as Quito in Ecuador to destinations in the Netherlands and the United States, where the majority of flower are shipped to Miami, which is one of the world's largest distribution hubs and home to the cargo operations of LATAM Airlines Group.
The United States is the principal market for fresh flowers transported by LATAM Cargo. During this Valentine's Day, Miami Airport received about 7,900 tonnes from LATAM, representing more than 80 percent of its cargo shipments.
Out of the entire chunk of flowers, which entering the country, 89 percent remained in Florida, while 11 percent were transported to Los Angeles.
During any regular week, Miami receives approximately 5,000 tonnes of fresh flowers from Ecuador and Colombia. However, due to the Valentine's Day season, the figure almost tripled.
The Netherlands is yet another important destination for flowers shipped by LATAM Cargo, from Ecuador. During 2018, over 690 tonnes were transported, which is equivalent to 15 flights.