Logistics Middle East : 2020-07-01

FEATURE : 18 : 18

FEATURE

FEATURE ETIHAD CARGO | Could we see less reliance on airline belly-hold capacity in the cargo market post-pandemic? What would this mean for competitio­n in the sector? UAE GOVERNMENT AID FLIGHTS IN APRIL 2020: Leonard Rodrigues, senior manager network planning and cargo at Etihad Cargo • Number of countries flown to with UAE Government Aid: 31 Number of UAE Government Aid flights: 65 Total tonnage of essential supplies flown out of the UAE on behalf of UAE Government: 400+ tonnes Total tonnage of essential supplies flown into the UAE on behalf of UAE Government: 2,000 tonnes Number of front-line medical profession­als who have benefited from the UAE Government Aid: 350,000 (source: MOFA) The pandemic has indeed put cargo operations under the spotlight. It is difficult, however, to pinpoint with certainty what the aviation sector will look like post-pandemic. Nobody wishes for the passenger business to remain grounded and we see airlines, including the Etihad Aviation Group, planning for the restart of passenger operations over the coming months. I am sure I am not the only one hoping we can all go back very soon to planning holidays that include internatio­nal travel. With that said, I do believe belly-hold capacity will remain key to the air cargo model. It is a superior product for many commoditie­s such as perishable­s and pharmaceut­icals, with smaller capacities coming in more frequent and regular volumes. Also, its cost efficiency participat­es in lowering the overall cost of air cargo transporta­tion, to the point that its absence would disrupt the economics of multiple supply chains. Even from a cargo-only perspectiv­e, we need the belly-hold capacity to come back. • • • • 18 | LOGISTICS MIDDLE EAST JULY-AUGUST 2020 www.logisticsm­iddleeast.com

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