The cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG) has restarted services from Madrid to two key cities in South America. The routes will link the company’s facility at Madrid Barajas Airport to Caracas, Venezuela, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, respectively.
IAG has shown clear intent to expand its network in Latin America, with these two routes being the latest in a series of services to reopen, following closure due to the impact of the pandemic.
In October, IAG announced the return of cargo flights between Barcelona and Santiago de Chile International Airport – a service that resumed this week.
IAG Cargo is currently operating over 250 weekly services between European and Latin American airports, including to and from Mexico and Ecuador, as well as these returning destinations.
Flights to both Caracas and Rio de Janeiro will begin to operate this month, at a frequency of three times per week. The flights will be managed by IAG subsidiary Iberia, with one of the airline’s A350 planes going to Venezuela and an A330-200 model going to Brazil.
Rodrigo Casal, Regional Commercial Manager for Latin America at IAG Cargo said: “The revival of these services will have a great impact on the economy and livelihoods in both Caracas and Rio de Janeiro, as exporting food and perishables plays a huge part in their economies.”
Perishables and local produce are amongst the biggest exports from South America, making up a significant portion of the cargo IAG will transport to Europe. This includes fruit like papayas and mangos, as well as flowers.
Perishables on board aircraft in the IAG network are stored at specific temperatures, being constantly monitored to ensure produce maintains maximum shelf life.