The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the European Commission’s (EC) Guidelines on Facilitating Air Cargo Operations During COVID-19 Outbreak to ensure smooth air cargo operations.
With the evaporation of passenger demand and cancellation of passenger flights, vital air cargo capacity has disappeared. Airlines are taking all measures to meet the remaining cargo demand. Unfortunately, airlines faced bottlenecks in getting appropriate permissions and crewing cargo flights amid quarantine restrictions. The result was delays to shipments when time is of the essence to fight the COVID-19 outbreak and keep global supply chains functioning.
The EC has understood the industry’s challenges and provided comprehensive and practical guidance to ensure that permissions to operate are quickly granted and that air crew are able to operate efficiently with exemptions from quarantine measures.
“We are in an emergency and the European Commission has responded with speed and clarity. EU member states need to act quickly to ensure that the guidance is followed so that air cargo—including vital shipments of medicines and medical equipment—gets to where it needs to be. Other governments should follow the EC’s example and implement similar measures so that we can unblock the global air cargo networks on which we all depend,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.