LAN CARGO and its affiliates transport more than 9,000 tons of flowers for Valentine’s Day

Wednesday February 12, 2014 - LAN CARGO and its affiliates will transport more than 15 million bouquets of flowers all over the world during the four week flower rush that leads up to Valentine’s Day - the peak season for flower exports The Company moves 32% and 40% of flowers produced in Colombia and Ecuador respectively at this time of year representing around 9,400 tons.

Between January 20 and February 9, around 200 LAN CARGO flights take off from Bogota and Medellin, Colombia and Quito, Ecuador, tripling the average shipments with an average of 2,100 tons of flowers shipped daily.  The main destinations of these flights are the United States and the Netherlands with the majority via Miami, one of the most important distribution hubs in the world, where LAN CARGO owns the largest cold storage warehouse facility at a U.S. airport.

Cristian Ureta, CEO Cargo Unit LATAM Airlines Group emphasized: "We are very pleased to be an important part of such a special day for many people. There are two key dates in the transport of flowers and one of them is Valentine’s Day, when we carry more than 15 million bouquets to the world and, this year, we hope to transport 6% more than in 2013 ".

Colombia and Ecuador: leading exporters worldwide

The main exporters of flowers in Latin America are Colombia and Ecuador. For both countries, floriculture is a fundamental part of the economies, representing their top non-traditional agricultural exports. The main varieties transported are red roses (more than 60%, tripling in demand during Valentine’s Day), carnations, dahlias and chrysanthemums.

Upon arrival at the LAN CARGO cold storage facility, the flowers undergo a rigorous cold chain process to preserve the lifespan of the flower.  After the process is complete, they are distributed to various U.S. cities and on a smaller scale, to Europe via Amsterdam, Holland, and to Oceania via Sydney, Australia.