The impact of the new crown epidemic on the global aviation industry is unprecedented in history. Relevant data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that global international passenger transport demand in 2020 will fall by 75.6% year-on-year. Due to restrictions on passenger flights, the available capacity of the Air freight services market has dropped significantly. However, the market's demand for air cargo has continued unabated. Take Emirates as an example. In the 2020-21 fiscal year, the tonnage of its cargo department has been reduced by 22%, while the total revenue of the cargo business has increased by 53% year-on-year.
Emirates SkyCargo is one of the world's leading air cargo providers. Emirates China Cargo Manager Michael Qu recently stated that the short-term boom in the air cargo market under the influence of the epidemic is not a decisive factor affecting the sustainable development of the industry. The long-term development of the industry is still the balance of supply and demand. Only when airlines continuously dynamically adjust their operating strategies and keep abreast of the pulse of market development, can they seize the new market opportunities that continue to emerge in the post-epidemic era. To
Change with time: air cargo performance is outstanding
During the epidemic, a large number of grounded passenger flights and a surge in demand for transportation of anti-epidemic materials have made the air cargo market continue to be hot. The interconnectedness of the global economy, as well as the diversification of manufacturing and distribution supply chains, also play an important role in continuing to push up the demand for air cargo. According to the July 2021 air cargo market analysis report recently released by the International Air Transport Association, in terms of cargo ton kilometres (CTKs), global cargo demand in July increased by 8.6% year-on-year in July 2019. Compared with the long-term average growth rate (approximately 4.7%), the overall growth momentum remains strong.
Behind the high-profile performance of the data is the air cargo industry's change of time and the courage to act in the market. In response to strict operational regulations and special transportation needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo Cargo Department has actively adjusted and adopted a series of measures to ensure the flow of goods around the world in collaboration and consensus with government departments of various countries, including: Use passenger aircraft for cargo flights, increase charter services, flexibly respond to bilateral and changing regulations, adapt to new operating standards, and provide complete protection for crews and staff.
At the beginning of the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, the border closures of various countries caused almost all passenger flights of global airlines to suspend operations, and the cargo capacity of the belly cabins of passenger planes dropped sharply. Emirates Skycargo's cargo department responded quickly, with multiple actions in parallel, enabling the route network to quickly recover from 35 destinations at the end of March 2020 to more than 100 destinations around the world in July. Currently, Emirates SkyCargo cargo department provides Air freight services to more than 140 destinations around the world.
As one of the first airlines to test the "passenger-to-cargo" approach, Emirates SkyCargo's cargo department has also upgraded its passenger aircraft economy class to increase its capacity to meet the global demand for material transportation to the greatest extent. This March marked the first anniversary of Emirates’ “passenger-to-cargo” initiative. During this year, Emirates’ SkyCargo Cargo Department operated more than 27,800 “passenger-to-cargo” flights. These flights carried a total of important supplies such as medicines and food. More than 100,000 tons.
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