IATA Foresees 'Immediate and Severe' Air Cargo Capacity Crunch

IATA Foresees 'Immediate and Severe' Air Cargo Capacity Crunch

Belly capacity for international air cargo shrinks by 43.7% yoy in March

Acording to International Air Transport Association (IATA) data released for March, air cargo performance demonstrated a severe capacity shortfall.

Global demand, measured in cargo tonne kilometers (CTKs), fell by 15.2% in March compared to the previous year.

Middle Eastern carriers reported a demand decline of 14.1% year-on-year following growth of 4.3% in February.

Among all routes to and from the Middle East, the sizeable Europe and Asia trade lanes recorded falls in the order of 20% in March, while the smaller Africa market saw a decline of around 30%.

International markets account for 87% of air cargo. Belly capacity for international air cargo shrank by 43.7% in March compared to the previous year.

Relief is Critical for Middle East Airlines: IATA

This was partially offset by a 6.2% increase in capacity through expanded use of freighter aircraft, including the use of idle passenger aircraft for all-cargo operations.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO said: “At present, we don’t have enough capacity to meet the remaining demand for air cargo. Volumes fell by over 15% in March compared to the previous year.

"But capacity plummeted by almost 23%. The gap must be addressed quickly because vital supplies must get to where they are needed most.

"For example, there is a doubling of demand for pharmaceutical shipments that are critical to this crisis. With most of the passenger fleet sitting idle, airlines are doing their best to meet demand by adding freighter services, including adapting passenger aircraft to all-cargo activity.

"But mounting these special operations continues to face bureaucratic hurdles. Governments must cut the red tape needed to approve special flights and ensure safe and efficient facilitation of crew.”

To reduce delays IATA urges governments to:

· Cut the paperwork for charter operations

· Exempt cargo crew from quarantine rules that apply to the general population

· Ensure there is adequate staff and facilities to process cargo efficiently

Read More: Airliners Turn to Cargo to Ease Virus Woes

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