Miami Int’l focuses global, goes pharma

Miami International Airport is looking to an end of year upswing to offset a year where problems in the South American economies subdued volumes, while a freshly minted IATA CEIV certifi cation opens up new possibilities. Michael Mackey reports.


MIA should experience an upward
trend in cargo in the fall due to end-ofyear
tonnage typically being the highest
of the year. In fact, freight traffic grew
one per cent in September, marking the
first month of freight growth at MIA
since the first quarter of 2015,” Chris
Mangos, marketing division director for
Miami International Airport (MIA) told
Payload Asia.

MIA has handled 1,579,851 tonnes of
freight through September 2015 which,
the facility added, was a fraction of a per cent less than the same time last year.

Th e reason is quite simple continued
decline and slowing of Latin American
economies, particularly in Brazil, as well
as the fate of the US dollar’s value.

Not only will these issues cast a shadow
on the coming year, but the China factor
will also need to be considered in a year,
that whilst Miami is well positioned, is
probably not going to be easy.

“Seeking growth opportunities
throughout the globe at a time when the
economies in China and in several Latin American countries have slowed down,
combined with US exports slowing down
due to a strong US currency,” was Mangos’
response when asked to outline its
workload for the coming twelve months.

Th at said this past year hasn’t been
flat – more uneven than flat – and
substantial work has been done to make
the MIA’s cargo facilities well-positioned
for the future. One growth area Miami
is more than happy to talk about being
pharmaceuticals.

New Pharma focus

“Th e total value of Pharma products
transported through MIA has increased 79
per cent in the last four years – from $1.825
billion in 2010 to $3.283 billion in 2014 –
not including in-transit cargo” Mangos said.

More tellingly and it’s a hint about
what the future MIA has achieved IATA’s
certification as a pharma freight hub – the
second such designation in the world and
the first for a US airport.

“We expect that the IATA designation
will help to generate even more growth
for MIA’s booming pharma business,”
Mangos said with a just a hint of pride.
Th is is not the only way recent changes
at the facility will help as new connections
keep on coming.

Th e final quarter will, among others,
see both Air France and British Airways
off er a daily upgraded A380 service, cargo
giants Lufthansa move to a seasonal
second daily flight to Munich, Swiss will
also do the same with its Zurich service
whilst Finnair will open a new three times
a week route to Helsinki, Qatar expand
its daily service and Turkish open Miami
as a route.

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) also
announced in September that it will off er
scheduled nonstop service from Miami to
Oslo and Copenhagen beginning next fall,
Mangos added.

Previously this year, new international
service launches included hub carrier
American Airlines introducing daily
service to Frankfurt, Germany in May, and
adding service to Barranquilla, Colombia
and Monterrey, Mexico in June, Mangos
pointed out.

Landside improvements