The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has warned that some measures in place on slot allocation, bilateral restrictions and rigid route rules are impeding the free flow of goods at this critical time.
TIACA’s progress report on its work with regulators related to the coronavirus crisis response listed air cargo issues aimed to urge authorities to create the proper environment for cargo operations.
The trade association — which mainly represents aircraft manufacturers, airports, all-cargo airlines, combination carriers, ground handlers, freight forwarders, logistics companies, road carriers, and shippers — said it enrolled in the “Technical group on joint actions related to COVID-19” consists of ICAO, WHO, IATA, ACI, GEA (Global Express Association) which lays the groundwork for the unified pitch to governments addressing all the emerging issues.
“TIACA sees its role in the Group as using ICAO’s mechanism to reach out to the States and remind them that air cargo is a great contributor to the global economy and international trade and that it plays a very important role in preventing and battling the disastrous effect of the coronavirus,” it said in a statement.
Among TIACA's concerns include:
- The existing structure of commercial rights within bilateral and multilateral agreements which it said “imposes restrictions” on the necessity for quick change in air routes which are caused by the necessities for delivery of emergency supplies medications and industry products which are of importance for the global trade and manufacturing recovery;
- Flexibility to change routes depending on the need. TIACA said it is important to allow airlines to quickly change the geography of the flights depending on the urgency in deliveries;
- Slots at airports also remain a problem. TIACA said other airports should follow the example done by Amsterdam Schiphol Airport when it released slots for cargo operations;
- Quarantining cargo flight crew also poses risk. The association said the danger of flight crew to be placed in quarantine after performing flights to destinations which are not considered as clean from the virus and the threat remains very high.
“Several airlines report problems with training and retraining their crews on flight simulators. Some flight simulators are situated in high risk countries and after visiting these individuals are to be placed in quarantine,” TIACA said.
- TIACA added that some countries do not allow transit of certain goods through their territories and this involves not only foods, including fruits and vegetables but also other commodities including the masks.