Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, air cargo has been a vital partner in delivering much-needed medicines and medical equipment (including spare parts/repair components), and in keeping global supply chains functioning for the most time-sensitive materials.

All of this has been achieved through dedicated cargo freighter operations, the utilisation of cargo capacity in passenger aircraft and with relief flights to affected areas.

As a result, the International Air Transport Association has called on governments to take urgent measures to ensure that air cargo will be available to support the global fight against COVID-19. This is of particular importance as dramatic travel restrictions and the collapse of passenger demand have severely limited cargo capacity.

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “Over 185,000 passenger flights have been cancelled since the end of January 2020 in response to government travel restrictions. With this, vital cargo capacity has disappeared when it is most urgently needed in the fight against COVID-19. The world’s fleet of freighter aircraft has been mobilised to make up this capacity shortfall. Governments must take urgent measures to ensure that vital supply lines remain open, efficient and effective.”