From 20 February, LATAM Cargo will operate new freighter service from Santiago to Chicago twice weekly, operating with B767-300F aircraft.
This new service from Santiago International Airport (SCL) – the first regularly scheduled freighter service by a South American cargo carrier to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) – will expedite the import of fresh seafood and other perishables, the airport says.
O’Hare’s connectivity to Asia is key to LATAM’s strategy to support its growth in the Asian market, the airport highlights. The airline will capitalise on one of Chile’s biggest exports, fresh caught salmon, moving them to Asia, where there is strong demand.
In addition to being the largest exporter of salmon in the region, Chile is known for its growing number of seafood shipments. LATAM will carry these and other perishables such as cherries, blueberries and asparagus; as well as pharmaceuticals and electronics from regions in South America, to Chicago and beyond.
“Chicago is a key gateway in the United States and an ideal connecting point to Asia,” said Andrés Bianchi, CEO LATAM Cargo. “Our new flights to and from the city provide our customers with access to key destinations and improved transit times. As the leading carrier in South America we are committed to improving connectivity between the region and the world in order to give customers more alternatives to achieve their goals.”
LATAM becomes Chicago’s 26th cargo operator and the addition of new service will enhance Chicago’s leading international connectivity, and will add to the estimated USD 200 billion in annual trade supported by O’Hare’s cargo operations, the airport says.
“We are pleased to welcome our newest partners to O’Hare and thank them for choosing to grow their operations from the City of Chicago,” says Jamie L. Rhee, commissioner, Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA).
“Each new flight added to O’Hare enhances our leading connectivity, creating new jobs and opportunity for residents, and fuelling economic impact throughout our City. Supported by our continued investments in our state of the art cargo campus, we are committed to increasing access for businesses worldwide to move goods in and out of Chicago-O’Hare.”
The new LATAM service will support more than 30 Chicago area companies with operations in Chile, the origin of the new service and global headquarters of the airline. Chile is the state of Illinois’ second largest trading partner in South America, and exchanged over USD 1 billion in trade goods with the state last year.
“As the most-connected airport in the US, O’Hare is vital to Chicago’s booming economy,” adds Andrea Zopp, president and CEO of World Business Chicago. “This new cargo flight not only demonstrates our connectivity to the world, but will also further increase the already strong economic ties between Chicago and Chile.”
Chicago-O’Hare has in recent years experienced record setting cargo growth, supported by the City’s investments to increase capacity at O’Hare’s state-of-the-art Northeast Cargo Development. The USD 220 million development has resulted in a surge in air cargo activity in recent years, with an estimated nearly 1.9 million tonnes handled by O’Hare last year alone – up by 50 per cent from before the development began.
The expansion of cargo capacity has catapulted Chicago-O’Hare’s spot as the number one airport in all of the Americas for cargo value, based on the USD 200 billion annual imports and exports handled at O’Hare. In total, the O’Hare cargo development will deliver an additional 74,300 sqm of cargo processing space when all three phases are complete by 2021.
Chicago’s cargo facilities support direct trade to 45 nations from O’Hare every week. As home to one of the most connected airport systems in the world, Chicago-O’Hare also offers its carrier partners access to a major transportation hub, as home to the largest network of trucking transportation and one of the top Interstate highway junctions in the US, the airport adds.