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Centurion and Amerijet have successfully hampered Venezuelan carrier Transcarga’s attempts to operate in the US by objecting to the US Department of Transport over its traffic rights.
The moves, claimed Transcarga, leave the routes available only to US carriers, and now open to substantial price hikes.
Transcarga had applied to operate extra-bilateral all-cargo charter operations from 15 November 2016 through 31 January 2017. It wanted to operate 16 monthly round-trip all-cargo charters in the Venezuela-Aguadilla/San Juan market; 76 monthly round-trip all-cargo charters in the Venezuela-Houston/Miami market; and eight monthly round-trip all-cargo charters in the Venezuela-New York market.
But Centurion and sister company Sky Lease argued Venezuela does not provide adequate reciprocity for US cargo carriers. They also claimed that Venezuela’s aviation authority, INAC, was distorting the US-Latin America market by refusing to allow US carriers to transport US-third country traffic via Venezuela. Amerijet agreed, while INAC failed to respond in time.
However, Transcarga argued that between July and August, 2016, US carriers operated 141 charter flights between Venezuela and the US, of which at least 128 were cargo charters. It added that INAC approved at least an additional 61 US cargo charters for the period of October-November 2016, providing sufficient reciprocity for Transcarga to continue to operate at least through the end of the year.
As the only Venezuelan cargo carrier, Transcarga also argued that it should be allowed to operate to the US, and it employed 35 US citizens in Miami whose jobs would be lost if it could no longer operate there.
It claimed prices would go up for shippers. It argued that Amerijet had increased prices on the Miami-Las Piedras route by nearly $1 per kilo, although Amerijet disputed that its prices had risen.
There is little love lost between the carriers. Transcarga is involved in a commercial suit against Centurion and Sky, and claimed that was the true motivation behind those carriers’ objection to Transcarga flights.
A Centurion insider recently told The Loadstar that Venezuelan nationals have a stronghold within Centurion and Sky Lease, and other nationalities have complained of discrimination at the two Miami-based carriers.