Feb 10, 2021 12:13 PM

The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) stated that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by 10 countries in the region with the objective of allowing the temporary and reciprocal liberalization of the seventh freedom traffic right for the air services of cargo will facilitate the transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“This agreement demonstrates the interest of the governments of the region in facilitating access to the vaccine and developing State-industry collaboration stays to achieve it. The initiative will be an example for global aviation in terms of the development of multilateral agreements and efficient measures to contribute to the transport of the vaccine and essential cargo ”, said José Ricardo Botelho, executive director & CEO of the organization.

At the end of 2020, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Uruguay, all members of the Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (CLAC), signed an MoU for air cargo services without there are geographic or capacity restrictions.

The seventh freedom of the air refers to the right to transport from one State to another without passing through the territory of nationality of the airline or without the authorization of that country. The application of this measure under the multilateral agreement will also greatly facilitate the transport of essential cargo.

He recalled that more than 40% of air cargo is transported in the bellies of passenger planes, therefore the drastic reduction in the number of passenger flights has impacted global cargo transport.

Despite this, aviation has maintained a fundamental role at the service of governments and the population to transport essential cargoes and this is now even more relevant for the timely and safe transport of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This multilateral agreement represents an important collaborative measure that will provide great efficiencies to provide an essential service through the cargo transportation capabilities of the airlines in the region.

“At the initiative of Brazil and Chile, during 2020 a technical group from CLAC drew up the text of the MoU that temporarily liberalizes the seventh in cargo. Now that the MoU has come into force, we hope that more States will sign it during the year 2021, as there is a high commitment to facilitate the distribution of the load, especially the vaccines against COVID-19 ", says Jaime Binder, secretary of the CLAC.

It is worth mentioning that T21 announced last December, in an interview with Jaime Binder Rosas, CLAC secretary, that although Mexico is a member of the organization, it had not submitted the letter to adhere to the agreement in the absence of the head of the Federal Civil Aviation Agency (AFAC ).

"Mexico did participate, I spoke with the director (at that time Rodrigo Vásquez Colmenares) but the signature (of the document) is done by sending a communication (...) but it was not possible because the director is not there," he commented in your moment.

The agreement will be valid for one year, that is, until December 31, 2021 and may be extended for one more year for countries that require it.

Source: T21

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