Release Date:
Release ID: 5749

Airforwarders urges DOT to award U.S. - Cuba routes to airlines with cargo programs.

The Airforwarders Association, representing 360 companies and more than 300,000 employees who move air cargo through the supply chain, today urges the U.S. Department of Transportation to assign routes to U.S. passenger air carriers that currently offer air cargo service.

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation accepted applications from eight U.S. carriers petitioning to provide passenger service to Cuba. Of those carriers, only five currently operate cargo programs: Southwest Airlines, American Ailrines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. "The opening of Cuba to travel is about more than just moving people, it will also be about trade. The eligibility of any airline that ultimately cannot fill planes with both passengers and cargo should be looked upon less favorably," said Brandon Fried, Executive Director of the Airforwarders Association.

At this point, significant airport infrastructure and economic limitations exist within Cuba that present real challenges to trade. Once those limitations are solved, the Airforwarders Association looks forward to working with carriers that, as experienced cargo handlers, intend to offer airfreight service to enhance trade promotion with Cuba.

The Department of Transportation plans to study the requests with final comments and answers due on March 21st.
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