Global air freight drops 19c in March, but passenger jet cargo works well

THE Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has revealed that global demand for air cargo fell 19 per cent in March compared with the same month last year. However, demand is holding up "relatively well, despite economic disruption in many economies following measures aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19," it said.

A number of Asian airlines have been operating additional air cargo services using passenger aircraft, adapted to carry cargo both in the bellyhold and in the cabin, in the absence of passengers.

Numerous airlines have also increased their number of freighter services to help compensate for the loss of bellyhold capacity caused by drastic cutbacks to passenger services, reported London's Air Cargo News.FAXTEXT = Essential cargo being shipped by air throughout the coronavirus pandemic includes significant volumes of pharmaceuticals, medical protective equipment and foods.

"We recognise and applaud the efforts being made by many governments to offer financial assistance and support to the aviation industry as well as the wider travel and tourism sector," said AAPA director general Subhas Menon.

"The Asia Pacific aviation community is strongly committed to continuing to work closely with governments, public health authorities, and other international bodies to both respond to current challenges, and at the same time begin to make plans for recovery," he said.

"Aviation has always been a key driver of economic and social development, nowhere more so than in the Asia Pacific region, and will play an important role in the overall recovery effort," Mr Menon said.

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