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.

Emirates SkyCargo is flying high again in Quito offering scheduled freighter service worldwide

After a slowdown in service due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo is once again on course at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, with three scheduled weekly frequencies to Amsterdam and Dubai – and plans to add one more.

According to José Luis Suárez, PrimeAir’s South America Regional Sales Director based in Quito (UIO), this come back is welcome news for local shippers, freight forwarders, and his other customers in the region.

Before the pandemic hit, PrimeAir was supporting the operation of four regular flights from UIO to Amsterdam (AMS) and Dubai (DXB), Emirates’ main hub with connections across the entire Emirates SkyCargo network.

As its general sales and service agent (GSSA) in Ecuador, PrimeAir and Emirates SkyCargo (EK) have been working closely together since EK first entered the market in 2013. PrimeAir provides in-country sales, marketing, and accounting for Emirates SkyCargo, in addition to specialized airport services such as warehouse supervision and ULD control.

PANDEMIC RESPONSE

But, according to Suárez, as the coronavirus crisis grew, so did demand for service to transport medical equipment and supplies. In March and April, regularly scheduled service in multiple markets was interrupted – and not just for Emirates SkyCargo. Nearly all cargo carriers worldwide were re-allocating their capacity – and humanitarian commitment – to countries hardest hit by the virus.

Flash forward to August, and only now are service patterns getting back to normal, which Suárez says is very good news for shippers of non-medical material – especially among Ecuador’s vast floriculture industry.

“Even as the impact of the virus was hitting markets hard, there was still a demand for fresh-cut flowers, and product was available. But there were only limited options available to move it.”

UNIQUE SOLUTIONS

To help meet the capacity challenge at UIO, PrimeAir stepped up with unique solutions to support its customers throughout Ecuador – first by successfully arranging interline shipments with AtlasAir to AMS through April.

As available capacity started to come back on line, PrimeAir received its first offering of Emirates SkyCargo service at UIO with Boeing 777ER passenger aircraft, also called PFs (Passenger Freighters). Interline and PF service continued weekly until early June when pure B-777F freighters were reintroduced and added to this mix of service on SkyCargo’s standard routes.

Presently, three freighters flights (B777F) operate weekly, departing UIO on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays with direct flight to AMS.

Looking forward to returning to pre-pandemic levels of service, Suárez is hopeful that by mid-August a fourth frequency departing Fridays will be added.

“It has been a time of ups and downs, but I know that our clients are grateful for the unconditional support of both Emirates SkyCargo and PrimeAir in the Ecuadorian market,” he added. 

“We understand that the investment in bringing empty flights to UIO was high, but the effort was not in vain because our goal is to preserve the long-term relationship with our customers.” PrimeAir also has served as the designated GSSA for Emirates SkyCargo in Colombia, since Summer 2018.

ABOUT EMIRATES

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, is the largest international airline cargo operator in the world. With an unrivalled route network, the carrier connects cargo customers to 155 cities across six continents and operates in many of the world’s fastest developing markets.

Besides supporting the floriculture sector, Emirates SkyCargo exports other perishables such as mangoes and baby bananas from Ecuador to markets such as Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Emirates SkyCargo’s modern fleet of extended-range widebody freighters have controlled temperature zones set up inside the aircraft ensuring that perishable shipments travel at the right temperature.

For more on Emirates SkyCargo, visit https://www.skycargo.com/network/air/

ABOUT PRIMEAIR

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

For information, call 305-592-2044, email info@primeair.aero, or 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!

Air Cargo Americas Brings Team Prime Group Together

Nearly 5,000 business managers and executives from more than 50 countries attended the Air Cargo Americas Exhibition in Miami, Oct. 29-31. Chief among them were the major players of the four divisions of Prime Group who came in from all across its global system.

Held at the Miami Airport & Convention Center, the bi-annual trade show is designed to increase cargo growth and international business in the Western Hemisphere.

The Prime Group team kept busy on the exhibition floor, making new connections and catching up with existing customers. As a result, says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes, they came away with solid leads on new and future business.

But they also came away with a greater sense of camaraderie for their fellow team members. Using the trade show as a backdrop, Paredes said this was a rare opportunity for all the members of the commercial side of the company to stage an internal management forum of their own. The team managed to get offsite to for a night of fun and dining in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District.

“It gave our Prime Group folks – who hail from as far away as Amsterdam, South America and the Western U.S. – a forum by which they could collaborate face-to-face, rather than always over the phone or via impersonal e-mails.”

Paredes and his business partner Omar Zambrano have been attending Air Cargo Americas consistently for nearly 20 years. In recent years, they are seeing a shift in the show’s focus from airlines to general sales agents (GSAs) and air-cargo industry service providers.

And despite the fact that this exhibition seems to be diminishing in size and importance, particularly when compared with its Air Cargo Europe counterpart in Munich, this Miami event remains a good show to see – and to be seen at.

“It is interesting to witness its evolution, as the industry has seen more and more consolidation over the years,” he said. “Yet Air Cargo Americas will always be an excellent forum to connect with people from Miami who are focused on the GSA side of the business – basically, the PrimeAir side of the business.”

Connecting with people is the core objective in sales, and having a cohesive, well functioning team makes their job easier – and more rewarding.

ABOUT PRIME GROUP
The four separate divisions of Prime Group Holdings are PrimeAir, Prime Fresh Handling, Prime Logistics, and Prime Fresh Products – all dedicated to offering the best international cargo and logistics products and support, from sales and marketing for cargo airlines, to ground handling and cold storage, and market analysis. For general information, visit https://primegroup.aero/ or call 305-592-2044.

Prime Group team harvesting business at BOG show

Easily one of the best opportunities to meet the most important people in the floral industry is at the most important flower show in Colombia – Bogota’s Proflora.

As one of the biggest in the world, the show is mostly for flower growers and breeders to show off their wares, but myriad providers of services and products that support the core industry are also represented.

So naturally, Prime Group has been attending for years.

As a veteran of many flower expositions around the world, over and over CEO Roger Paredes says he comes to the same conclusion: “The floral business is as much about the flowers as it is about the people – perhaps even more so.”

For sure, there were hundreds of exhibits and sessions this year highlighting emerging trends and the latest and greatest flower varieties. But Paredes and his sales team, joined by Prime Group’s Chief Operating Officer Omar Zambrano are much too busy to take in any of the “local color,” so to speak. That’s because they are almost solely focused on meeting with new and existing customers.

According to Paredes, it’s all about maintaining and building relationships. “We focus on building new business, but we also taking full advantage of the opportunity to meet with the existing customers of PrimeAir and Prime Fresh Handling in particular, to continually reinforce those important relationships.”

PrimeAir and Prime Fresh Handling (PFH) are the primary divisions of Prime Group Holdings that support the fresh-cut flower business. PrimeAir serves as the general sales and service agent (GSSA) on the ground in Latin America for the biggest players in the air cargo industry – including Atlas Air, and Emirates SkyCargo. These carriers alone transport millions of kilos of flowers out of Bogota and Quito each year.

PFH serves as a strategic ally for its clients by handling the logistics end of the business – from start to finish – in order to achieve safe and fresh delivery of fresh flowers and perishable goods to their final destination. With strategic warehouses and handling facilities around the globe, PFH offers a complete menu of logistics services from cold storage and inventory services, to document processing and customs clearance.

“It was a great show,” Paredes reported. “We arrived with solid sales leads that would allow us to continue developing our portfolio of services, and were able to meet with a handful of new customers that we’d already started working with out of Bogota. At the end of the day, it’s always a good thing to meet clients face-to-face, after interacting for so long via just phone and email.”

Other meetings during the show, scheduled in advance of the event, were set aside for existing customers, he said, to thank them for their business and to check in to see if everything is copacetic.

“What we heard most, thankfully, were expressions of satisfaction with our service,” he added.

Mission accomplished.

For information, visit www.primegroup.aero. To contact Prime Group at its Miami world headquarters call 305-592-2044 or send an email at info@primegroup.aero.

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.

Emirates SkyCargo celebrates five years in Quito

Last month, when Emirates SkyCargo celebrated five years of “uplifting roses from Ecuador,” the news was picked up in Air Cargo World, Air Cargo Week, and other major trade journals across the globe. After all, it’s big news.

As its GSSA in Colombia and Ecuador, PrimeAir and parent company Prime Group wish to congratulate the carrier on its great success here.

After all, PrimeAir and Emirates SkyCargo have been working closely together since Emirates first entered the market in 2013 – in Quito. And just this past summer, the partnership was significantly enhanced as the Dubai-based carrier selected PrimeAir to serve as GSSA for Emirates SkyCargo’s operation in Colombia, too.

Says Prime Group CEO Roger Paredes, “They were obviously very pleased with the high caliber service we provide – and we are so proud to be part of their continued success on the South American continent.”

PrimeAir provides in-country sales, marketing, and accounting for Emirates SkyCargo, in addition to airport services such as warehouse supervision, and ULD control.

Acknowledging that the agreement with Emirates SkyCargo is a feather in the company’s cap, Prime Group is pleased to share the good news here with our readers, on behalf of one of our most honored customers and partners, Emirates SkyCargo.

Uplifting roses with four weekly freighters in Ecuador

Roses are one of the most popular export commodities from Ecuador and are renowned for their vibrant color and long shelf life. Over the last five years Emirates SkyCargo has been facilitating exports of Ecuadorian roses as well as other flowers and perishables through its freighter operations to Quito.

Emirates SkyCargo commenced its freighter operations to the Ecuadorian capital in December 2013 with a once a week service. However, due to growth in demand and trade flows from Ecuador, the air cargo carrier increased the frequency of its freighter flights. Currently, Emirates SkyCargo’s Boeing 777 freighter aircraft uplift cargo four times a week from Quito.

Since December 2013, Emirates SkyCargo has helped transport over 50,000 tonnes of Ecuadorian exports from Quito. Fresh flowers including roses form the bulk of export commodities transported on the freighters. In 2017 alone, close to 12,500 tonnes of fresh flowers were flown from Quito to other parts of Emirates’ network in Europe, Middle East, and Asia.

High season for flower exports lasts between August and February but the peak demand for roses occurs in late January and early February in the run up to Valentine’s Day, which requires additional freighter capacity to be deployed to meet demand.

More recently, Emirates SkyCargo has also helped promote the growth of exports of perishables such as mangoes and baby bananas from Ecuador to markets such as Germany, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, and Singapore. With its global network of over 155 destinations Emirates SkyCargo facilitates the development of new export opportunities and makes an important contribution to the local economy in Ecuador where more than 100,000 people are dependent on the floriculture sector.

With Emirates Fresh, the carrier’s three-tiered suite of specialized solutions, flowers and other perishables from Ecuador retain their freshness and longevity during their journey. Emirates SkyCargo’s modern fleet of Boeing 777 freighters have controlled temperature zones set up inside the aircraft ensuring that perishable shipments travel at the right temperature.

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, is the largest international airline cargo operator in the world. With an unrivalled route network, the carrier connects cargo customers to over 160 cities across six continents and operates in many of the world’s fastest developing markets.

While Emirates SkyCargo offers cargo capacity on its entire fleet, it’s dedicated fleet of freighters includes 13 Boeing 777-Fs and one Boeing 747-F. The carrier operates state-of-the-art cargo facilities at its dual hub locations in Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC).