Welcome to the winter 2020 issue of Airline Cargo Management, my first as editor and the last of an unforgettable year. A year filled with tragedy and crisis, and of disruption on an unprecedented scale. But also a year of resilience, in which the air cargo sector has once again proved how critical it is not only to the aviation industry, but to wider society.
Think of how passenger aircraft have been used as freighters, with a variety of creative solutions and innovations thought up to increase capacity as much as possible and utilise aircraft that would otherwise be grounded. One such solution, from Lufthansa Technik, is featured in our Innovation spotlight section on page 16.
Think too of all the extra shopping that has been done online with people around the world on lockdown – those goods have to be transported. That thought was the impetus behind our article looking at the impact of e-commerce on air freight, which can be viewed on page 38.
But most importantly of all, think of all the essential supplies that have been
transported by air to help battle Covid-19 this year. And now the air cargo industry is facing what one airline executive has termed the “supply chain and logistical challenge of a lifetime”, the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
The main focus of this issue is on the preparations that are underway to meet that challenge, with a special report on page 24 and a news round-up on page 8.
Elsewhere, it is a case of out with the old and in with the new as we assess the state of the widebody conversions market on page 32. This issue also features our regular array of interviews, comment pieces and news analysis. I hope you enjoy reading it; please do get in touch if you have any comments or suggestions.