AviancaTaca has ordered four A330-200 freighters from Airbus, making it the first Latin American carrier to commit to the freighter. Tampa, AviancaTaca’s cargo subsidiary, will operate the craft starting in December of next year.
Officials at Tampa will phase out their current freighters, replacing them with the new Airbus craft. They also hope the new freighters will help them expand their international routes. According to Airbus, eight A330-200 freighters are in operation in the Middle East, Europe and Asia. Ten customers have a combined 61 additional aircraft on order.
The order comes amid a cargo expansion for Tampa. Earlier this month, Tampa executives acquired a Boeing 767-300 F-ER. Tampa already operates four Boeing 767-200 ER SF craft, and the addition of the new plane increased Tampa’s cargo capacity by 32 percent. Airline workers have also helped expand Tampa’s storage space at El Dorado Airport’s international cargo terminal by more than 200 percent, which includes a significant increase in the carrier’s available cold-chain storage space. Tampa has also implemented a new cargo management system, Sky Chain.
Fabio Villegas Ramirez, AviancaTaca’s CEO, explained that each change — from ordering freighters to introducing Sky Chain — is intended to increase the carrier’s presence in the cargo industry.
“Air transportation plays a key role in the dynamic exchange between countries and regions. Given this and the growing demand for capacity for freight transportation in the north-south-north centers of the Americas, and from there to other continents, we have taken the decision to make a strong bet on this side of our business,” Villegas Ramirez said in a statement. “We want both importers and exporters in the region to see AviancaTaca as an optimal partner to help them meet their business goals.”