Mother’s Day Flower Charter to Japan Serves as Centerpiece of PrimeAir’s Global Capabilities

You might say that Asia’s recent upsurge in demand for fresh-cut flowers is a sign of the times. Certainly it’s a very good sign for Colombian growers who have an abundance of product available – even as they continue to recover from the pandemic. But what happens when need exceeds capacity in getting these flowers swiftly to market, especially during a peak holiday period?

This exact scenario played out last month, when distributors and forwarders familiar with the typical ebb and flow of the Asian appetite for the world’s finest flowers found themselves struggling with unprecedented market demand leading up to Mother’s Day.

Whether it was a result of pent up consumer demand to finally give the gift of flowers again, or growth in general stemming from heightened expansion of the global flower trade, it is estimated that volume across Asia increased 300 percent year-over-year for Mother’s Day bouquets – with Japan and Korea leading the way.

Bogota-Tokyo Mission Accomplished
Either way, shippers turned to the Prime Group of Companies for last-minute help – and we succeeded. I am proud to share that PrimeAir, our well-known provider General Sales & Service Agent (GSSA) services in Latin America, was able to swiftly resolve the sudden shortfall in air-cargo capacity – by executing a direct B747F charter flight between Bogota and Tokyo’s Narita International Airport. And it was an amazing sight to see.

Tapping from our long-term relationships with major air carriers and cargo agents worldwide, this challenging mission went without a hitch, as 95 tons of fresh flowers were moved via operation of the only direct flight of this kind from Colombia Bogota to Japan thus far this year.

We’ve got a long history of offering logical alternatives to our customers that match their increasing requirements for volume with the necessary extra capacity they need – when they need it. But this Japan charter operation truly stands out because it demonstrates PrimeAir’s ability to immediately mobilize and respond to rapid changes in the market – anywhere in the world. It’s what the people of PrimeAir do and do well.

A Banner Moment for PrimeAir
In fact, I wish to thank all the members of our global team – from Colombia to Miami and those dispatched to Japan – who helped to make this operation such a resounding success. It was a banner moment for our company – and one for which our customers are also grateful.

Whether it’s PrimeAir people skillfully conducting a massive long-haul charter operation, or the experts at Prime Fresh Handling and Prime Logistics providing international handling, shipping, and warehousing of perishables, vaccines, and other essential commodities – more and more global industries are turning to the Prime Group of Companies and our distinctive brand of global products and services.

And we stand ready to welcome you aboard!

CEO Headshot

Roger Paredes – CEO

PrimeAir’s handling of oversized cargo is a heavy responsibility

When it comes to handling high-value, oversized cargo there is no margin for error. Especially when it’s a large commercial turbine engine – or an entire helicopter.

As Atlas Air’s general sales and service agent (GSSA) in Bogota, PrimeAir’s expert team on the ground knows well that working with such major payloads is no small task. It is a specialized skill that requires years of experience and knowledge of the critical nature of the cargo.

PrimeAir benefits from being part of Miami-based Prime Group Companies, a global logistics conglomerate with 20 years of experience in working with such heavy and oversized items. Ensuring the safe and reliable handling of aerospace equipment is just one of many services they provide as the GSSA for Atlas Air, but it certainly ranks among the highest in importance.

With a price tag for one single engine exceeding $20 million, and $3 million for a new rotorcraft off the line, it is critical that the operation goes perfectly.

Last month, Atlas Air was contracted to transport a 13-ton General Electric LM6000 engine from Los Angeles to Bogota (BOG), where PrimeAir’s crew would offload it. A gas-turbine derivative of the CF6 engine family that’s been the cornerstone of the widebody aircraft business, this particular version is used for marine propulsion of cruise ships and fast ferries… A big engine with big work ahead.

Upon arrival at BOG, the PrimeAir team used a ramp-side crane to delicately move the 26,000 lb. behemoth to a nearby trucking area where a wheeled flatbed trailer took over, by providing final delivery to the customer’s warehouse.

“Special cargo like this needs definitely gets special attention,” said José Luis Vargas, PrimeAir’s Commercial Manager at BOG. In fact, both the engine and the helicopter that was delivered in a separate operation were designated Dangerous Goods (DG). This meant that expert handlers were required at each of the points of origin to carefully inspect the outbound shipments to ensure their acceptance and transport on Atlas Air aircraft.

Point of origin of the helicopter was YQB, the Canadian airport serving Québec City – not far from where Bell manufactured this Bell 407 GXi rotorcraft destined for Colombia.

With a chargeable weight of approximately 10 tons, the seven-seat four-blade helicopter was disassembled for transport and shipped BOG where it was accepted ramp-side by PrimeAir. Once off the Atlas Air freighter, the payload was transported using a normal dolly to a trucking area for the continuation of its journey to the customer.

“Our customers know we’re the go-to experts for big logistics challenges like these. That’s because we’ve been doing specialized heavy-cargo work for decades – and not just for the aerospace industry. We also manage logistics for the transport of oil-industry equipment, construction equipment, and automotive parts and equipment.”

One of the premier carriers in PrimeAir’s portfolio, Atlas Air is not only one of the most important and reliable cargo airlines in the world, it is the company’s longest lasting customer. PrimeAir also offers sales and marketing, cargo services, operations, handling, and accounting.

While PrimeAir has been Atlas Air’s designated agent in BOG for three and a half years, the relationship between the two companies began 20 years ago, in support of Atlas Air’s freighter operations between Quito and Miami, which continues today.

For information, visit www.primeair.aero.

PrimeAir is ready to ‘Go Eastern’

Big news in the airline industry is the resurgence of Eastern Airlines – and it’s big news for the Prime Group, too.

Dedicated to honoring the tradition of Eastern Airlines, the management team overseeing the comeback of this legendary brand has been busy planning for a long time. And now it’s gears up, as they just launched scheduled service between New York and Guayaquil, Ecuador.

During its heyday, Eastern Airlines was one of the original ”big four” domestic U.S. carriers, before folding in 1991. But in January 2002, it returned (again) to the skies, beginning with a route to Aeropuerto Internacional José Joaquín De Olmedo (GYE) out of New York’s JFK. It is also set to serve Georgetown, Guyana; and Jinan, China, flying extended-range Boeing 767s.

On their website, they state they are committed to getting it right this time, because their attention to detail “is focused on the tiniest mechanical check and even the cobalt blue stitching on Seat 17B.”

Eastern Checks In
Perhaps then it’s no coincidence that, when it came to attaining full-service cargo support on the ground in Guayaquil, the new Eastern checked in first with PrimeAir, Ecuador’s most established GSSA (General Sales & Service Agent).

“This is very good news for us,” says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes. “With our significant presence in New York, this will provide even greater capacity into JFK, allowing us to further expand our business in New York, as well.”

The GSSA agreement with Eastern Airlines was signed in late January in time to begin cargo service on Feb. 1. PrimeAir is one of four Prime Group companies that include Prime Logistics, Prime Fresh Handling, and Prime Fresh Products – all of which operate throughout the U.S., Ecuador, Colombia and Europe.

PrimeAir is looking forward to filling the widebody bellies of Eastern’s once-weekly passenger flights with such specialized cargo as fish from coast of Ecuador, tropical fruits, and of course flowers from Quito and Cuenca.

And with Eastern’s strategy of continuing to open up flights to other underserved markets, it would appear the sky’s the limit for potential new growth – for both companies.

For nearly 20 years, PrimeAir has been providing the GSSA services in Latin America for some of the biggest players in air cargo – such as Atlas Air and Emirates SkyCargo, just to name a few. In fact, Ecuador is PrimeAir’s historic base of operations, where it all started in 2001.

What We Do Best
Closely supervising the action on the ground in Ecuador, PrimeAir’s team there has decades of experience handling perishables that make up a significant portion of the market. They benefit from being part of the Prime Group, a network of coordinated cargo and freight specialists with offices and representatives worldwide, in making cargo services, operations, handling, and accounting easy and reliable for airlines working across the globe.

Today’s Eastern Airlines is an entirely different company than the Eastern Air Lines of old. It is born out of a charter company called Dynamic Airways based outside of Philadelphia, in Wayne, Pa.

The carrier currently has eight aircraft, all of which are various models of the Boeing 767. The new livery is a unique design inspired by the local colors and geography of the destinations they will serve.

With a new slogan of “Go Eastern,” PrimeAir is ready to go along for the ride!

Prime Group’s Long Affair With Valentine’s Day

If you’re involved in any sector of the fresh-cut flower business and you’re reading this right now – get back to work!

Although we’re just moving out of the peak Valentine’s Day period, January 25 through February 7, there’s still a lot of work to be done. With International Women’s Day around the corner, the clock is ticking and there’s little time to rest.

But all kidding aside, I’m glad you’re here, because it gives me an opportunity to say thanks to all of our freight forwarders with whom we get to work so closely this time of year, and to our shippers and air carriers who so depend on us.

I’m also grateful for the passion for perfection exhibited by our team of dedicated hard-working employees who continue to do what they do best – especially over the past few weeks.

The monstrously high volumes we are presently handling is nearly unimaginable for the typical consumer. But we’re used to it. We’ve been working with perishables for so long, it’s become second nature to expect nothing less – and to provide nothing short of perfection.

So hats off to the dedicated folks in our two divisions that play such an integral role in preparing, shipping, and delivering such delicate and highly time-sensitive product as fresh-cut flowers – PrimeAir and Prime Fresh Handling. Our customers depend on you and you deliver every day.

This is also the time of year that my business partner Omar Zambrano and I pay homage to the company’s core business of providing top-line logistics support for the flower industry. Since day one, shipping roses and other fresh-cut flowers from South America to the U.S., and now Europe and beyond, has been our main focus.

In fact, flowers are the very reason Prime Group exists today – and continues to succeed. They are the seed that started it all, and that are allowing the company to thrive and strategically expand into other profitable business and product lines.

It’s a busy time. It’s an exciting time. And there’s always time to say thank you.

So thanks! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

DHL incorporates PrimeAir in plan to improve experience for worldwide customers

As one of the most familiar players in the ever-expanding Latin American air-cargo logistics market, PrimeAir has once again been called on to assist a major international carrier grow its presence here.

On March 11, DHL Aero Expreso (DAE), a division of DHL Aviation, launched a six-day-a-week rotation of service connecting Quito with Lima and the carrier’s hub in Panama, for both exports and imports from around the world.

Operating a B737-400 aircraft with a capacity of more than 20 tons per flight, DHL appointed PrimeAir as its General Handling Agent (GHA) at Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO).

According to Elizabeth Suarez, PrimeAir’s General Manager for Ecuador and Colombia, the company will be responsible for all ground operations for DHL and vendor coordination.

DHL Express, the world leader in logistics with 35 years of experience in the Ecuadorian market and 50 years globally, presents Ecuador with this new flight from Quito to, basically, the rest of the world as part of its expansion plans and continuous investment in international logistics service.

At first, imports to Quito will be handled by DHL from about 25 countries such as the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, and as far away as Australia, Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore, to name a few.

Due to the expanded capacity, the advantages of this new flight include: The option of sending pieces up to 300 kilograms, a boost in packet collection scheduling, and greater availability of space and time for preparation for exports.

This new flight, once a day, Mondays through Saturdays, is complemented with the rest of DHL Express Ecuador services, such as special solutions for electronic stores, real-time tracking system, and more.

 

PrimeAir on the Move

Since 2001, PrimeAir has been providing the best GSSA services in Latin America for the biggest players in the air cargo industry such as Atlas Air, Polar Air Cargo, and Emirates SkyCargo – making cargo services, operations, handling, and accounting easy and reliable for airlines working across the globe.

In fact, in recent months, PrimeAir has further enhanced its business relationships with Emirates SkyCargo and Atlas Air. During this same time period, in Quito specifically, the company also has boosted staffing to accommodate a shift in focus from a purely PrimeAir office to a fully diversified Prime Group operation, offering an entire spectrum of brands under one roof.

PrimeAir benefits from being part of Miami-based Prime Group, a network of coordinated cargo and freight specialists with offices and representatives worldwide.