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Centurion Cargo ends Service from Quito.

As of Saturday September 6th Centurion Cargo decided to end it’s daily flight from Quito Ecuador.  This will reduce the lift from Quito by approximately 20%. Limited southbound cargo and insufficient northbound rates were sited as the cause.

The absence of this daily flight is already being felt at the airports in Quito and the Importers in Miami and around the country. Centurion had been flying out of the Latacunga Airport located outside of the capital Quito. This airport has reportedly been subsidizing the fuel cost of the carriers willing to use this military airfield instead of the newer Quito International Airport.

This leaves LAN, Avianca/Tampa, UPS and Atlas to fill the void left by Centurion’s decision. Each of these carriers operates five to six cargo flights per week from Quito. Additionally LAN and Avianca offer belly cargo options.

I predict that the, already high, rates from Quito will begin to creep up over the next few months. Adding this to the duty that importers must pay from Ecuadorean growers is going to challenge those that love large headed roses.

Stay Tuned to for more details.

William “Willliee” Armellini




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    After speaking with some others the situation at Centurion is perhaps more fragile then I imagined.

    Cargo agents in Quito are scrambling to find space for flowers and since the flower market is still hot there is much anxiety among those that were flying on Centurian out of Quito.

    The very public debt that Centurian has would make any company nervous however, airlines must turn over huge amounts of cash to operate. When airplane cost upwards of $10 million one can imagine the payments. And when filling the fuel tanks on a jet can cost $10,000 it does not take long to rack up one hell of a bill.

    As an industry we should hope they can pull their planes out of the mud because if they were to fail there would be a huge void in the market.

    I can imagine all sorts of scenarios and one could be Chapter 11, the good ole American way to get out of a sticky situation. Keep in mind that they also lease that whole giant 550,000 sq ft building which must cost more than I can imagine.

    Alphonso Keyes the owner had a huge vision starting with nothing and building an impressive company. He is not going to give up and walk away so the next few month should be a nail biter. Good luck to all.

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    Just learned that LAN already has announced a price increase and Avianca/Tampa is not far behind.

    I think that Centurian pulling out left a bigger void than anticipated. Some importers are struggling to find space. And now they want to repossess the planes, this is juicy.

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    There is more to this story!

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    I am hearing that there is limited space for cargo leaving Quito. Are you (anyone) having any trouble getting flowers out of there?

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    Good news. Thanks for that first hand knowledge. I hope you are right but if Centurion was losing money perhaps others are as well.

    If you were a Centurian customer then you are at the mercy of the airlines that you now need to negotiate with. As long as there is sufficient lift then you could be right.

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    Willy, Do not predict a rate increase to the US, soon. It won’t happen as there is plenty of space among the other airlines and production in Ecuador is not high. Space for holidays will always be covered by charters and extra frequencies.

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