KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 2020: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments to accelerate approvals for air cargo operations as part of the post-Covid-19 recovery process.
It stated today that the demand for global air freight has dropped by 27.7 per cent in April as compared to the same period last year.
It also said there was insufficient capacity, down 42 per cent in the same month, to meet demand as a result of the loss of belly cargo operations on passenger aircraft.
IATA director-general and chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac said the situation has been damaging to global supply chains with longer shipping times and higher costs.
“Governments need to continue to ensure that vital supply lines remain open and efficient.
“While many have responded with speed and clarity to facilitate the movement of cargo, government red-tape, particularly in Africa and Latin America, is preventing the industry from flexibly deploying aircraft to meet the demands of the pandemic and the global economy,” he said in the IATA’s statement.
He added that airlines were deploying as much capacity as possible, including special charter operations and the temporary use of passenger cabins for cargo.
According to IATA’s data, airlines in the Asia Pacific region saw demand for international air cargo fall by 28.1 per cent in April, compared to the same period last year.
IATA also urged on governments to expedite customs clearance for urgently needed medical supplies as well as ensure there are adequate staff on the ground and land-based infrastructure to move cargo efficiently.