LATEST ISSUE

Summer 2020

issue 30

The last few months have been an extraordinary rollercoaster ride for people and businesses throughout the world, and obviously particularly for those involved with or connected with aviation. The air freight sector has faced and responded to multiple challenges that have often been evolving extremely rapidly. Most plans and expectations for this year have been turned upside down and then inside out. And then rewritten once again – along with most budgets! And even the most thorough business continuity plans have struggled to fully prepare companies for the full scale of the changes and the responses required to keep cargo flowing, keep staff safe, and keep businesses running – and help maintain the health of people and nations around the world, literally as well as financially.

In addition to our regular scheduled articles in this issue, focusing on Perishables (page 4), E-commerce (page 10), and Latin America (page 16), Cargo Airports & Airline Services (CAAS) has interviewed and invited comment from a selection of senior air cargo executives and companies to discuss their perspectives on the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, their responses and contingency plans, and any best practice initiatives that have helped them deal with and overcome some of the challenges they have faced. These are divided into three main sections, focusing on airlines, cargo handlers, and airports, plus an introductory section featuring representatives from key air freight associations. We are grateful for all of the thoughts and contributions from those featured in the report during this fast-changing and challenging time.

As these commentators describe, the air freight sector – and particularly its operations teams – have been thrust into the front line of dealing with the logistics of tackling this major and deadly pandemic. And deal with it they have – creatively, but also carefully, thoughtfully, methodically and in some cases bravely. And while the passenger airline colleagues of many air freight businesses deal with colossal losses and in some cases existential threats, air cargo specialists have done what they always do – except often more so.

It is a common wish among those commenting in this publication that as a result of air freight’s efforts and contributions and successes during this crisis, the sector will be more recognised, more respected. I echo those hopes, although based on previous history, that may be an optimistic view. Once the world opens up more fully again, as it presumably soon will, some of the lessons and resolutions may be lost. But in any case, the air freight sector can surely be proud of its contributions in this crisis.

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Take A Peek

Featured in this issue

  • A swift and pragmatic response

    Although the air cargo sector has responded quickly and well to the various challenges, Patrik Tschirch, CEO of LUG aircargo handling, fears there may be recurring lockdowns and other business-inhibit...

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  • A technological perspective

    Moving its infrastructure and many customers to the cloud before the crisis happened has proven to be the right setup when access is needed across multiple locations and has simplified the move to hom...

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  • A timely Swiss solution

    The launch of a cargo-only network by SWISS and Swiss WorldCargo has led to the creation of two ‘SWISS Belly Charter’ products. But continuing to link Switzerland to global supply chains and medic...

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  • Air cargo’s heroic effort

    All over the world, frontline medical workers have put their personal health on the line every day to treat the sick and infected; and the way the air cargo industry has rallied to support those healt...

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  • Air freight fights back

    Alongside dealing with the collapse in passenger airline businesses, air cargo carriers have responded in an extraordinarily creative and positive way and are playing a vital role in the medical and e...

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  • An inter-dependent ecosystem

    As TIACA we have the privilege to count among our members companies from all parts of the air cargo industry and supply chain and from all over the world. And it is clear that this crisis poses differ...

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  • Back to the future

    United hadn’t operated a schedule of cargo-only aircraft since it stopped flying DC-10 freighters in December 2000. But it expects to operate over 1,000 cargo-only flights in May, and United Cargo p...

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  • Business as usual for cargo at DFW

    Although there were some tactical cancellations earlier in the year by carriers operating freighters into DFW, the schedule has returned to normal and the airport is anticipating a big increase in car...

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  • CGN ups its role

    While passenger operations at Cologne Bonn Airport have ground to an almost complete halt as a result of the coronavirus crisis, its freight business is currently operating at full capacity, reports T...

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  • Covid-19 halts region’s recovery

    Propelled by continuing growth in the sector, air freight’s pharma logistics operators keep honing their capabilities with dedicated facilities, improved visibility and tighter collaboration, report...

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  • Dramatic and contrary effects

    Hard hit by both China’s early lockdown and the international lockdowns that followed, Cathay Pacific was one of the first airlines to operate suspended passenger services purely for air freight. Bu...

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  • Dynamism in disruption

    A thorough business continuity plan has helped Siginon Aviation continue to meet its various SLAs, despite the challenges currently facing Kenya’s cargo handling sector, says acting general manager ...

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  • Flexible working

    Cooperation between stakeholders, including national authorities as well as airport cargo businesses, has enabled Belgium’s Liege Airport to handle 20% more widebody freighters with 20% fewer staff,...

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  • Handling amid a devastating impact

    Robert Fordree, executive vice president for cargo at Menzies Aviation, says it is encouraging how quickly teams and individuals adapt to situations and find ways to carry cargo across the world Th...

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  • Handling and the coronavirus challenge

    Air cargo handlers and their business continuity plans have been pushed to the limit as they respond to a highly disrupted and volatile airline and freight market, reports Will Waters The Covid-19 ...

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  • Handling extreme volatility

    FRA and its handlers have been supported by constructive and flexible cooperation among the airport community, says Claus Wagner, managing director for FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services What have been t...

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  • Hong Kong’s cargo commitment

    HKIA’s extensive freighter network has helped maintain volumes during the current crisis, although Airport Authority Hong Kong has also announced an array of relief measures to support the airport c...

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  • Keeping vital supplies moving: Solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic

    Driven by the necessities involved in supporting the fight against the coronavirus, the essential role and value of air cargo is now better understood beyond the industry, believes John Cheetham, chie...

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  • Moscow Cargo: Cargo must go

    Adapting to unpredictable flight schedules, lower belly cargo throughput, and handling an increasing number of ‘cargo-only’ flights with time-consuming passenger-deck loading and unloading operati...

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  • Perishables take on a new visibility in the pandemic world

    While demand has surged in the last few months for many food products, shippers have faced major issues including severe air freight capacity challenges, reports Donald Urquhart Perishables may be ...

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  • Protecting air cargo’s golden egg

    Adapting to the challenges and opportunities cross-border e-commerce brings remains a work in progress that has been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, reports Stuart Todd Cross-border e-commerce ...

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  • Resilience and creativity in a crisis

    The coronavirus pandemic has created a situation not previously experienced in our industry. While some of our members are serving several active industry verticals, many are experiencing business red...

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  • Resilience in adversity

    Good communication and coordination has helped CDG continue playing its vital role in France’s economy, ensuring the transport of medical products and more typical cargo like perishables and e-comme...

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  • Rising to the challenge

    Roger Samways, VP cargo sales, American Airlines Cargo What have been the biggest challenges? Because we fly cargo on our passenger flights and do not operate freighters, the decrease in passenger...

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  • Rising to the challenge

    A 65% increase in freighter flights has compensated for most of the drop of the cargo carried on passenger flights at Brussels Airport. But there have been other challenges to overcome, says Nathan De...

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  • Roller-coaster ride

    Every day brings a different scenario, says Wilson Kwong, chief executive of Hong Kong handler Hactl, which expects much of this year to continue in this unpredictable fashion What have been the bi...

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  • Strengthening the supply by air

    Despite the full use of its freighter fleet and a growing network of ‘preighter’ flights, Lufthansa Cargo is still a long way from replacing the far-reaching cancellations of passenger air freight...

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  • Uncertain outlook

    Covid-19 has had a massive effect on Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – in ATMs and traffic. And although it is handling around 55% more full freighter flights than last year, this does not compensate for...

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  • Unprecedented times

    Etihad activated a ‘passenger-freighter’ fleet network within 48 hours of the suspension of passenger flights. But only the reintroduction of passenger traffic can ultimately ease the inevitable f...

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