Air Partner urges clients to consider advance freight arrangements

Following growing constraints on logistics due to measures imposed to contain the Covid-19 virus, Air Partner is imploring companies to book air cargo transport in advance to secure availability and keep their supply chains moving.

The global private aviation firm has released updates on cargo trends and availability, citing the development of the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic. Air Partner provides freight customers with full access to any type of cargo aircraft, as well as flight options throughout Europe, the US, Asia, the Middle East and beyond.

“With nearly 60 years of experience in global aviation, Air Partner has incredibly strong supplier relations and in times of crisis we do everything imaginable to ensure our clients can keep their businesses moving,” said Air Partner CEO Mark Briffa.

“We’re seeing a spike in air freight service requests, as many commercial flights are being grounded and this is a time when Chinese industrial production is restarting after a month-long shutdown. There is still immediate charter availability, but we foresee that could change in the coming weeks.”

Rise in urgent requests

During the coronavirus outbreak so far, Air Partner has seen a large increase in urgent freight requests from companies seeking to transport a number of different commodities between Europe, North America and Asia. Most recently, Air Partner delivered medical kits on a citation jet from Italy to a cruise ship in Spain and 70 tonnes of automotive parts from Germany to the US.

On another mission, Air Partner transported on a series of charters, hand sanitisers and hygiene supplies from the US to China as businesses there must comply with increased sanitation regulation standards. All permits, loading and compulsory processes were handled by Air Partner to ensure smooth running of the operation. The dedicated freight team was on site for the loading and coordination of the aircraft handling.

Key updates as they pertain to aircraft charter solutions during the changing global market compiled by Air Partner include the following:

  • Availability – Air Partner has access to any freight aircraft between Europe and North America, China and South East Asia, at a moment’s notice. While travel restrictions are rapidly changing, Air Partner foresees this may continue to evolve in the coming weeks. If availability does decrease, prices will surge.
  • Price surge – Freight rates from China have already begun to increase as demand rises. Rates from China to Europe have jumped by 15.8 per cent this week compared with the prior seven days to $2.71 per kilo. Meanwhile, prices from Hong Kong to North America increased by 11.5 per cent week on week to $3.59 per kilogram and there was a 3.2 percent increase to $2.58 per kilogram on services to Europe.
  • Demand & capacity for Europe – With the current travel ban on passenger transport between Europe and the US, passenger airlines have been forced to reduce services dramatically. This has caused an immediate and ongoing negative impact on capacity and significant increase in pricing for transatlantic cargo capacity that is expected to last for at least the next 30 days.
  • Demand & capacity for Asia – China continues to experience significant capacity reductions and available cargo capacity from China is down 39 per cent versus last year. Flight cancellations on routes to China have removed close to 5,000 tonnes per day of capacity, with belly capacity down by 85 per cent and main deck capacity down by 12 per cent. Due to the demand in the market, Boeing 747F, Boeing 777F and MD-11 are the first aircraft affected by availability fluctuations.
  • Airline suspensions – More than 40 airlines have temporarily suspended operations to and from China to date and this is likely to continue to rise, with no estimated date to recommence commercial airline operations.
  • China production – With China beginning to slowly ramp up production again, it will take some time for scheduled freight operators to readjust their capacities to normal schedule. Charter service can cover this shortfall.
  • Airport operations in China – Air Partner is seeing a reduction in slots across China. For example, Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) is reducing services and moving operations to other alternate airports in China, such as Changsha Huanghua International Airport (CSX), Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO), Ningbo Lishe International Airport (NGB) and Sunan Shuofang International Airport (WUX).

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