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Brazil’s Rio Galeão Airport sees major growth in first half of 2018

Brazilian hub Rio de Janeiro-Galeão International Airport (GIG) has reported a 41 percent increase in its cargo handle to 46,500 tonnes for the first half of 2018, compared to the same period last year, as economies in Latin America begin to show signs of resuscitating following a long period of economic slump.

The total weight of imports from January to June increased 30 percent 19,100 tonnes, compared to last year, GIG said. These goods mainly consisted of pharmaceuticals and oil-and-gas exploration equipment. Export tonnage handled increased by an even faster rate – 49 percent, year-over-year, totaling 27,400 tonnes in the first half. GIG cited LATAM and Cargolux as its flagship carriers responsible for much of the increased traffic.

The truck driver strikes that broke out throughout Brazil in May, which the airport said “directly impacted logistics activities throughout the country,” didn’t seem to affect the airport’s traffic figures, which GIG said was due to careful planning and mitigation.

For the second half of the year, GIG expects a resurgence of the oil-and-gas segment, which took a hit following the dramatic criminal investigation of oil company Petrobras that damaged the Brazilian economy.

“That scandal, together with the decline in the oil price, really hit the oil-and-gas market very hard,” airport director Patrick Fehring said in an interview with Air Cargo World earlier this year. “But now, the scandal is sort of behind us.”

On the exports side, the airport projects continued growth in perishables, like fresh produce, and automotive products.

To read more about the state of demand for air freight in Latin America, follow this link to this month’s feature “Changes in Latitude.”

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