The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) is fully mobilized in this unprecedented crisis that the world is facing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The air cargo industry has a decisive role to play in the fight against COVID-19 and the industry’s voice must be fully heard by regulators and governments. This is why TIACA has joined the “ICAO Technical group on joint actions related to COVID-19”, other members of which are the WHO, IATA, ACI and GEA.
For TIACA, the goal is clear: to draw attention both to the fundamental role that the air cargo industry plays and to the need to protect its continued existence and vitality. In the current major crisis, air freight is essential for the transport of food, basic necessities and health-related products – in other words, everything necessary for people to survive. The global economy also needs air freight to continue to supply businesses and factories.
In addition to the recognition of its vitality, the way the industry operates must be clearly understood. In this crisis situation, multiple financial issues are emerging:
- Leasing payments for expensive aircraft;
- Salaries, energy supplies, and payments to service providers and equipment providers;
- Difficulties arising from uncoordinated travel bans, restrictions imposed on crew movements, airport slots and route changes, etc.
Several strong steps have already been taken. But TIACA is committed to continuing to highlight the real issues facing its members and calls on them to keep it informed of the difficulties they encounter.
“TIACA sees its role in the ICAO Technical Group as using ICAO’s mechanism to reach out to governments and remind them that air cargo is a significant contributor to the global economy and international trade, and that it plays a very important role in preventing and battling the disastrous effect of coronavirus,” said Vladimir Zubkov, TIACA Secretary General.
TIACA urges governments to exempt the movement of cargo from any bans. “We support IATA’s appeal to have air cargo recognized as vital in the fight against COVID-19 and for action to be taken – in particular, removing all travel restrictions on air cargo operations and taking all necessary measures to allow air cargo to continue to circulate around the world,” said Steven Polmans, TIACA Chairman.