For those who used to imported, high-quality pineapples, the situation is dramatic. There are no more regular airliners and therefore shipments are blocked. Consequently, the costs for the very few active flights have skyrocketed.
"In the pre-coronavirus era - said Luca Bernardini, owner of 2M Exotic Fruits, which markets under the brand 'Anana' - the cost of goods shipped by air was about 90 cents per kg. Now we are in the order of 2.5 euro (both amounts are for transport only), but obviously there are very few flights available. In light of this, we have blocked imports for two months now."
For this sector, the situation is terrible. The company was importing pineapple from the Dominican Republic (see FreshPlaza of 11/07/2018), shipped via air. The product was loaded into the cargo holds of passenger flights, as usual. "But now there is no more tourism and flights have been cancelled. Twenty days ago there was only one flight a day connecting Latin America to Europe, and it would leave from Bogota. There is no way we can think of using it."
In the Dominican Republic, growers are exhausted because no one buys their pineapples anymore. The internal market, without tourism, does not consume it in sufficient volumes, exports are blocked and the entire supply chain is collapsing. "Before Covid-19 we had two daily planes over Madrid that brought the pineapples from the Dominican Republic to Europe, plus 3 or 4 weekly flights over Malpensa. Now there's none left."
Bernardini's wish is to re-open, but only when the situation improves. "And I believe - he concluded - that this won't happen before twenty days".