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COVID-19 – View from the Chairman – TIACA

Steven Polmans
TIACA Chairman

The two most frequently asked questions I hear at the moment are “how long will this take” and “will our world and industry look different” after Covid-19. Unfortunately, I can only repeat what I said before: I have no idea…

Previous crises have taught us that we as humanity are very agile and resilient. But at the same time, we also quickly fall back into old habits and quickly forget. Will we as a society learn lessons from this crisis? Undoubtedly. Will this radically change our industry? I don’t think so. And more than ever, air freight has proven to be particularly important in our supply chain for both our daily lives and in times of crisis. Something we already knew, but also is something understood (again) at board room level, at the political level and among the general public.

Covid-19 is also a challenge for our association and we are obliged to think carefully about how to react and plan for this. It is partly our task today to weigh on agendas so that air cargo is not forgotten by governments and large organizations when it comes to aviation in general. Also today we notice that too often cargo is forgotten in this discussion. And at the same time, we have to think about how to remain active in these circumstances and what our members expect from us. In the past year, we have started a transformation process in order to create a more modern and new TIACA. Retaining the good from the past, but combining it with today’s opportunities and challenges. And now, more than ever, we need to move faster to achieve this change, while also taking into account what the world will look like tomorrow.

This crisis will undoubtedly hurt many. But every crisis brings winners and losers. Those who know how to be creative and flexible are in the front line to come out stronger. And that is our ambition as TIACA. As a board, we have set up a working group to continue our transformation in the coming weeks in order to come out stronger. And we still want to do this with our members. Certainly the trustees, but also the other members and the wider industry. Some of our initiatives will unfortunately have to be postponed, new ones will soon see the light of day. We will adapt to the new reality.

We look forward to the end of the year with hope and anticipation. Hopefully the worst of the crisis will be behind us and we will be able to organize a successful Air Cargo Forum in Miami, together with our partner Messe Munich. Because no matter how digital we are, meeting each other face to face again and talking and consulting with each other, is still one of the fun aspects of our job and this industry. So that’s something I’m looking forward to.

Until then, I wish you and your family, friends and colleagues good health and lots of mental strength! Together we’ll get out of this. Stronger than ever!

Steven Polmans
Chairman of TIACA