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Regrettably COVID-19 has become the most talked about subject in our lives and the industry. My topic today is about the actions being taken by the main regulator in the aviation industry – ICAO. TIACA and ICAO have a long-standing practice of collaboration and coordination based on the Declaration signed in 2013. We are joining their Technical group working on joint actions related to COVID-19 (VTC). The group already consists of ICAO, WHO, IATA and ACI. It’s working alongside with the executive-level group (ICAO Secretary General, WHO Assistant Director General, Emergency Preparedness and International Health, ACI Director General and IATA Director General & CEO) have been held on 17 February 2020 and on 24 February 2020.

There are several objectives of these two Groups which are of interest to the air cargo industry from two points of view: to make input and to follow and disseminate information to the air cargo industry. The main ones:

  • drafting guidance material on managing outbreaks that occur in aircraft and airport
  • website for a single source aviation-specific guidelines on COVID-19
  • preliminary analysis of the economic impact of COVID-19.

Generally speaking in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, ICAO has been actively providing aviation-related information on COVID-19 and serving as the key facilitator for States and organizations that are members of the ICAO Collaborative Arrangement for the Prevention and Management of Public Health Events in Civil Aviation (CAPSCA) programme.

So far, the Organization has issued two Electronic Bulletins and one State letter.

a) Electronic Bulletin EB 2020/06 (24 January 2020) entitled “Novel Corona Virus Epidemic in China

b) Electronic Bulletin EB 2020/9 (30 January 2020) entitled “Ongoing developments regarding the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

c) State letter AN 5/28-20/15 (13 February 2020) entitled “State Support to Prevent the Spread of Novel Coronavirus Disease

I want to point out that ICAO urged the States to strengthen their preparedness plans for managing risks relating to communicable disease outbreaks by implementing effective collaboration and coordination strategies with all stakeholders.

TIACA this week started working closely with ICAO, the WHO, the Airport Council International (ACI) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) at both technical and executive levels. This collaboration ensures synergies and coordinated, consistent efforts to address the COVID-19 outbreak. One of the key tasks is to provide guidance to aviation authorities, airlines, and airports on appropriate measures aimed to protect the health and reduce the risk of transmission.

There is another important topic dealt with in this set up – Economic impact of COVID-19 on air transport. Lessons learned from the diverse crises of the past decades have highlighted the vulnerability of air traffic to disease outbreaks. The latest estimates by the ICAO Secretariat indicate the following impact of the COVID-19 outbreak for the first quarter of 2020 in terms of scheduled international passenger traffic from/to China (including Hong Kong SAR of China, Macao SAR of China and cross-strait services from/to Taiwan, Province of China) during 1Q 2020 compared to originally-planned:

a) overall reduction ranging from 35% to 38% of seats offered by airlines;

b) overall reduction of 20.4 to 25.8 million passenger; and

c) approximately USD 4.9 to 6.3 billion potential loss of gross operating revenues of airlines.

These estimates do not include potential impacts due to reductions in international air freight movements on cargo-only aircraft, airports, air navigation service providers and to domestic air traffic because of the lack of reliable data. However, TIACA will be trying to obtain this to the extent possible.

A few thoughts in connection with the cancellation of the flights to the USA from most of the European countries. Of course, the Sovereign States have the right to take such decisions. The fact that the cargo movement from Europe to USA is exempt from this ban is the confirmation that air cargo is a great contributor to the global economy and international trade. It also confirms the highest importance of the air cargo movement to prevent and battle the disastrous effect of the coronavirus. The medical supplies, prevention commodities like masks and disinfection substances, tents, food, spare parts and equipment – all this is transported by air. We also should not forget that most of manufacturing and other enterprises continue working and need deliveries. Air cargo carriers and their partners are here to do the job. The industry needs not only the appreciation of this effort but also full understanding of the conditions under which the air cargo industry functions. The leasing payments for expensive aircraft are to continue being paid, salaries, electricity, payments to their own providers of services and materials – all this requires monetary resources which are not always replenished in the situation with the reduced and irregular operations. Attention from the State and local authorities is to be drawn to the fundamental role the air cargo industry is playing and every effort is to be made to maintain its subsistence and vitality.

TIACA has been working with its partners and will continue working with the top aviation regulator – ICAO in developing recommendations for the States’ Administrations and all the international civil aviation.

Vladimir Zubkov

Gerry’s dnata Expands Offering; Launches Line Maintenance Services in Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan, 13 January 2022 – Gerry’s dnata, Pakistan’s leading ground services provider, has expanded its offering. The company obtained Maintenance Organization Approval from the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority to provide aircraft line maintenance services to airline customers, and now offers a one-stop-shop of ground handling, cargo and technical services at the airports of Karachi (KHI), Lahore (LHE) and Islamabad (ISB). 

Gerry’s dnata’s team of professionals can provide full line maintenance support and are trained on customers’ company procedures, providing a seamless service to both passenger and cargo airlines.

The launch customer is flydubai, which Gerry’s dnata already serves at four airports in Pakistan providing a range of ramp and passenger handling services to the airline and its customers.

Syed Haris Raza, Vice President of Gerry’s dnata, said: “As Pakistan’s leading ground handler, we constantly enhance our offering to best meet the needs of our customers. We are confident that our airline partners will welcome the expansion of our portfolio and take advantage of getting quality and safe ground handling and technical services from a single provider. Our team of highly trained, seasoned professionals will deliver world-class quality and safety for our valued customers.”

Mick Hills, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Maintenance at flydubai, said: “We are looking forward to expanding our relationship with Gerry’s dnata to include line maintenance services in Pakistan. Having a single, local provider to oversee our line maintenance, as well as ground handling, will add more efficiencies to our fleet management and ensure a quicker turnaround of our aircraft.”

Gerry’s dnata have the capability to handle the following aircraft types for scheduled, unscheduled and AOG services:

  • Airbus A319/A320/A321 NEO (CFM LEAP-1A)
  • Airbus A318/319/320/321 (CFM56)
  • Airbus A319/320/321 (IAE V2500)
  • Airbus A330 (RR RB 211 Trent 700)
  • Airbus A330 (GE CF6)
  • Boeing B737-600/700/800/900 (CFM56)

Over the past year, Gerry’s dnata has continued to enhance its operations and services to deliver the highest level of quality and safety and help airline customers safely transport passengers and precious cargo to and from Pakistan. It made significant investments in infrastructure, technology and equipment, including the opening of a new, state-of- the-art cargo facility in Lahore which doubled the company’s cargo handling capacity at the airport.

Gerry’s dnata’s quality of service helped it win or retain over 20 contracts with key accounts across its network. The company also achieved prestigious industry certifications, including GDP and IATA’s ISAGO accreditation, which validate its capabilities and place the business in a market leading position.

Gerry’s dnata serves more than 20 airline customers at seven Pakistani airports. The company’s team consists of over 2,500 dedicated aviation professionals who assist more than seven million passengers and handle 150,000 tons of cargo annually.

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Gabor Vasarhelyi
Public Relations, dnata