TAMPA Cargo (QT, Medellín José Maria Córdova) applied to the US Department for Transportation (DOT) on March 26 for exemption authority authorising it to operate all-cargo services between points in the US and any point or points. However, the application was opposed by Atlas Air (5Y, New York JFK) on April 1.

The Colombian airline, which operates as Avianca Cargo (QT, Medellín José Maria Córdova), requested a swift resolution to its application, as it needs the additional rights to meet a spike in global air cargo demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

TAMPA argued in its application that the US and Colombia signed a Memorandum of Consultations (MOC) in December 2018, which agreed to provide 7th freedom all-cargo rights to carriers of both countries. TAMPA believes that the MOC "expressed the intention of the parties to permit carriers to exercise these expanded rights on the basis of comity and reciprocity until the agreed protocol of amendment to the Agreement enters into force."

However, Atlas Air opposed TAMPA's application for two reasons; it believes the application is vague as to the route authority being sought and may include cabotage; and that the DOT must reevaluate TAMPA's ownership and control.

On the former, Atlas Air believes that TAMPA "may be seeking to operate cabotage services in addition to any seventh freedom services authorised by the bilateral" and requests that the DOT seeks to "clarify the precise nature of the route authority."

On the latter, the JFK-based cargo carrier believes it is unclear whether TAMPA and its parent Avianca Holdings are substantially owned and effectively controlled by citizens of Colombia. It has asked the DOT to ascertain this before it can determine whether TAMPA should be awarded valuable 7th freedom cargo rights as an airline of Colombia.

The matter is currently pending.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, TAMPA operates a fleet of six A330-200(F)s.