How Atlas, Cathay "rose" to occasion this Valentine's Day

Atlas expands cooler facility; Cathay bets on temperature-controlled containers

How Atlas, Cathay rose to occasion this Valentines Day

(Representational photo)

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Atlas Air shipped over five million kgs of flowers for Valentine's Day on a Boeing 747 freighter.

"In advance of the holiday, Atlas Air imported 5,370,146 kilos of fresh cut flowers to Miami International Airport (MIA) on 74 flights – 40 flights from El Dorado International Airport (BOG) in Colombia and 34 flights from Mariscal Sucre de Quito International Airport (UIO) in Ecuador between January 20 and February 8. All on the B747F," says a release from Atlas Air.

Since Miami ranks first among U.S. ports of entry for shipments of fresh cut flowers, Atlas expanded the cooler facility there by an additional 20,000 square feet for a total of 76,000 square feet of cooler capacity to meet the demand, the release said.

"With this expansion, Atlas Air can now simultaneously handle up to four B747F flights of flowers. The cooler in MIA now has a total of 26 doors to deliver flowers to our customers, and a total of 6 AOA (Ramp doors) to bring Unit Loading Devices (ULDs) with flowers directly to the cooler from the airplane."

“In previous years, our main constraint was space but this expansion has enabled us to handle the high volume of flowers that we move,” says Lucas Vargas, Station Manager, MIA.

“This means a better experience for our customers and upholds our commitment to exceptional customer service. It was really a huge team effort across Ground Ops, Flight Ops and Tech Ops, and our vendor Worldwide Flight Services (WFS). Once we launched the expansion, everyone came together to brainstorm how we can handle the freight better, how we can improve the process flow and/or mitigate any issues. It’s already a strong season, but for me, it’s been successful because everyone came together to find the best solutions for our customers.”

Cathay delivers 300 tonnes
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Cathay Pacific Cargo delivered some 300 tonnes of fresh-cut flowers picked from the fields of Ecuador and Colombia to destinations across the Asia-Pacific region.

"Packaged in temperature-controlled containers, and speedily expedited to cool storage on thermal dollies, these beautiful South American blooms were kept in optimal condition throughout the journey."

For shipments booked with Ultra Track, Cathay can "keep a close eye on temperature and humidity, to ensure they remain in perfect condition."

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