One major impact of the ongoing pandemic being felt by the cargo industry is that international belly capacity is still scarce and airlines have not been able to raise dedicated freighter capacity as much as needed.
To combat this, there has been a corresponding rise in the availability of air charters – a circumstance that much of the content in this issue clearly acknowledges.
In our feature on aircraft leasing for instance (page 38) we hear that Atlas Air has announced a new partnership with Cainiao, the logistics arm of Chinese technology behemoth Alibaba.
The deal involves launching a charter programme to enhance its extensive logistics network as cross-border trade between China and Latin America continues to expand.
Closer to home, London-based freight forwarder PML has set up its own in-house, dedicated charter service in a bid to build stronger relations with those airlines offering chartered flights.
DHL on the other hand has established some 28 global charters to help its life sciences and healthcare customers combat the capacity limitations felt since March; find out more in our feature on page 28.
Meanwhile, Delta Cargo’s response to a decline in cargo capacity has been to launch a charter cargo operation to supplement passenger flights. The airline has operated more than 1,400 cargo charter flights since February and is now averaging more than 50 international cargo flights a week.
In a similar vein, IAG Cargo, which transports cargo under the British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL brands, took the initiative of launching a new charter team to deal with the huge number of requests received – full details are on page 22.
On a personal note, the magazine will be back in December with features on widebody conversions, European gateways and security systems, but I’m moving on to pastures new and leave you in the capable hands of my colleague, Jason Holland. I wish my contacts in the air freight community all the very best and hope that better times lie ahead for us all.