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PRMA: Puerto Rico is open to serve as hub between the Americas, Europe and other points

By on May 14, 2020

Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport and Muñiz Air National Guard Base in Carolina, Puerto Rico (CB file)

Manufacturers Association seeks to educate key players for industry opportunity to take off

SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association (PRMA) is leading an initiative to educate the local and international aviation industry as well as freight forwarders and manufacturers about the opportunities created by a recent order of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) regarding expanded flexibility in the transportation of cargo and passengers at Puerto Rico’s international airports, and the possibility of including Puerto Rico in the Stevens Amendment, the association’s president, Carlos Rodríguez, announced Thursday.

The Stevens amendment granted Alaska exceptions to cabotage prohibitions, allowing a cargo flight from a foreign carrier to stop in Alaska, transfer or consolidate cargo with domestic or other foreign carriers and continue to other U.S. airports.

“The current global situation of COVID-19 has brought with it enormous challenges for the airline industry worldwide. Given the geographic location and infrastructure of Puerto Rico, this provision may represent an opportunity for airlines to review current and some future operations, as this could be economically viable and at the same time could expand the scope of the airlines that are working on a collaborative transfer model between the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, the United States and other points, thereby facilitating higher cargo yields and…balance between destinations, with fewer planes,” Rodríguez said in a statement.

Through this order, (Order 2020-4-10) the United States Department of Transportation is finalizing its provisional conclusions and conclusions of Order 2020-2-12 and granting some general authority to foreign airlines to allow them to provide certain expanded cargo and passenger transfer services at Puerto Rico ‘s international airports.

The PRMA’s Transportation Committee, led by Tom Vincent, vice president of Prime Air Corp., and Jerónimo “Jerry” Léctora, consultant and expert in the aviation industry, has actively contacted the airlines that provide services to international markets, local manufacturers, airport operators and transportation entities, and local government officials to educate them about the opportunity.

It has scheduled a series of Zoom webinars targeting specific target groups:

“We are confident that this flexibility in the transportation of air cargo and passengers can improve Puerto Rico’s commercial opportunities in the international air cargo industry, making the island an important international cargo transfer center,” the PRMA’s president said.

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