Welcome to the spring 2021 issue of Airline Cargo Management. As the Covid-19 crisis continues to dominate daily life and discussions, the light at the end of the tunnel is at least firmly in sight with the ongoing global rollout of vaccines.
Our cover reflects that sentiment, and the vital role the air cargo industry is playing in transporting the vaccines. The level of co-operation, co-ordination and communication needed is no mean feat, and the industry should take pride in its efforts so far, even if it is well used to overcoming big logistical challenges.
In our cover story on page 22, we share some early success stories from across the globe. While many industry executives note that the vaccines’ global airfreight tonnage is still fairly limited, operations are expected to ramp up in the coming months, so we also evaluate the next steps and the major challenges that will need to be met.
Elsewhere, the narrowbody freighter conversion market is in the spotlight. It may currently be dominated by Boeing single-aisle jets, but A320-family aircraft are expected to be converted in large numbers in the future, transforming sector dynamics.
ATR is hoping the regional freight market will also be transformed – by its new purpose-built turboprop. With the first delivery to launch customer FedEx having taken place in December, ATR’s head of leasing, freighter and asset management Guillaume Huertas gives us the inside track on the 72-600F programme.
This issue also features expert comment and insights from a range of industry voices: ECS Group on the evolving role of the GSA; Web Manuals on compliance with new regulations brought about by Covid-19 and Brexit; Smiths Detection on speeding up the screening process; and Etihad Cargo on a collaborative project facilitating vaccine distribution.
I hope you enjoy reading these features, and please do get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions.