Air Cargo Bottlenecks Could Put Lives at Risk

The COVID-19 crisis has seen almost the entire world-wide passenger aircraft fleet grounded; a fleet which normally transports almost half of total air cargo shipments.


IATA International Air Transport Association


Airlines are taking extraordinary measures to ensure the flow of vital goods by air. Some examples include:

  • Delta, American and United have started cargo-only flights, using passenger aircraft domestically and internationally to bolster depressed global airfreight capacity
  • Air Canada, Aeromexico, Austrian, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Iberia, Korean, LATAM Lufthansa, Qantas, Scoot, Swiss and many other carriers have made some passenger aircraft in their fleets available for chartered cargo operations
  • Ethiopian Airlines is playing a key role in transporting COVID-19 medical equipment through its hub to Africa’s 54 nations, including recently transporting equipment donated by the Jack Ma Foundation
  • Croatian Airlines has operated a charter flight from Abu Dhabi to Zagreb delivering critical medical equipment
  • China Eastern delivered a significant amount of medical supplies to support doctors in Italy
  • Austrian used 2 passenger B777 aircraft to fly medical equipment from China to Austria
  • Airlink, a nonprofit organization working with aviation and logistics partners to transport relief workers and emergency supplies have transported 16,127 lbs, of medical supplies and food aid to help the COVID-19 relief effort
  • FedEx Express has helped the US government transport COVID-19 test specimens from more than 50 remote drive-thru testing centers at major retailers across 12 states.
  • The UPS Foundation has expanded its relief response to Coronavirus, delivering urgent medical supplies, food and housing, and financial assistance to aid in recovery efforts
  • Airbus has transported 2 million face masks from China to Europe on a test A330-800 aircraft — the majority will be donated to Spain & France