Our Agent In Mexico: Fernando Dragonné

Fernando Dragonné, Cargo manager, Guadalajara talks crops, kids and Hong Kong

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’ve been with Cathay Pacific for two years. Previously, I was with the airline’s GSA in Mexico. I was taken on after the Guadalajara freighter service launched three years ago. It started initially with two flights, then three. Then we added Mexico City to the schedule. I am responsible for both ports and we currently run five freighters a week. They come from Los Angeles and go back to Hong Kong with a tech stop in Anchorage.

Tell us about the business in Mexico

It’s busy, enjoyable and it’s well balanced in terms of goods going in and out. Guadalajara was easy to make a success because the demand was there. It’s a produce hub for the crops grown on the Pacific side of the country and the market really needed connectivity to Asia. We started with berries, then tomatoes and recently avocados. Avocados are a success story for air cargo, because their shelf life is short and air guarantees better quality than ocean.

Mexico City is mainly about automotive in terms of parts coming in and finished products going into Asia to the big Japanese and more recently Korean automakers. There is also some high-tech but the market is changing. Nonetheless, it has still been a good year.

What are the challenges and opportunities?

Cathay Pacific is developing business with other countries in South America, so we have handled salmon and cherries from Chile routed from Guadalajara to Hong Kong. This is an opportunity, but the freighters are already quite full. While busy, our business tends to be very concentrated in terms of the number of forwarders. Tokyo and Shanghai are the two biggest markets from Mexico and we need to increase our presence.

What do you do in your spare time?

I am the father of two kids, 15 and 19. They both live with us. My oldest is studying to be an architect. My wife works in the industry, and actually she worked with the GSA for Cathay Pacific on the passenger side. When we have the chance we like to go travelling. We both love Hong Kong. Other than that I like to play golf and go bowling.