15:14 PM

Hispanic Heritage Month Routes: South America

Colombia is MIA’s top foreign destination within its busiest region

When it comes to ranking the busiest countries for passenger and cargo traffic at Miami International Airport, Colombia now stands at numero uno in both categories. Colombia overtook its South American neighbor Brazil for the top spot in 2019 when nearly 1.6 million passengers traveled between MIA and the country named after 15th- century Italian navigator Cristoforo Colombo (Christopher Columbus).

Seven destinations now connect MIA to Colombia with dozens of weekly flights to choose from: Barranquilla; Bogota; Cali; Cartagena; Medellin; Pereira; and most recently, San Andres Island, which American Airlines began serving just last December for the first time with two weekly flights.

This Hispanic Heritage Month, MIA offers non-stop service to six other Spanish-speaking cities in South America: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Guayaquil, Ecuador; Lima, Peru; Quito, Ecuador; Santa Cruz, Bolivia; and Santiago, Chile. On October 30, another destination will return to the list when American Airlines resumes service to Montevideo, Uruguay. Following Colombia and Brazil are four more South American countries that rank among MIA’s 25 busiest international markets in terms of annual passengers: Argentina (835,704); Peru (699,431); Chile (467,350); and Ecuador (442,515).

In 2021, Colombia was also responsible for 310,223 tons of freight to and from MIA valued at $6.2 billion, making it the airport’s largest trade partner. Most notably, nearly 70% of all flower imports at MIA, or 228,540 tons, originated from Colombia last year. MIA receives 89 percent of all flowers imported to the U.S. by air, for a total of 327,000 tons valued at nearly $1.6 billion in 2021. As a region, South America reigns supreme at MIA as well, at 933,501 tons of freight worth $34.3 billion in 2021. In fact, six South American countries – Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Argentina - were among MIA’s top 10 trade partners in weight last year.