Red tape holding up medical supplies, airlines say

PARIS (Reuters) - Red tape is holding up medical and other emergency supplies needed to help tackle the coronavirus crisis, airlines warn. While airlines around the world have grounded the bulk of their passenger fleets, demand for air freighters has hit record levels because the alternative option of using the cargo space inside passenger planes is no longer available. About 45-50% of air cargo usually travels in the bellies of long-haul passenger planes

Reuters March 26, 2020 00:11:58 IST
Red tape holding up medical supplies, airlines say

Red tape holding up medical supplies airlines say

PARIS (Reuters) - Red tape is holding up medical and other emergency supplies needed to help tackle the coronavirus crisis, airlines warn.

While airlines around the world have grounded the bulk of their passenger fleets, demand for air freighters has hit record levels because the alternative option of using the cargo space inside passenger planes is no longer available.

About 45-50% of air cargo usually travels in the bellies of long-haul passenger planes.

But the rapid spread of airspace and travel restrictions to help contain the disease has in turn resulted in bottlenecks for cargo traffic, some of which involves medical and emergency supplies, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

Examples includes two shipments, each containing about five to 10 tonnes of medical supplies, bound for Latin America and currently held up in Dubai and India.

"Those are just two examples that have crossed my desk in the last 24 hours," Glyn Hughes, global head of air cargo at IATA, told reporters.

The airline body, which represents most of the world's large carriers, called earlier in the week for government action to ease cargo bottlenecks.

Somalia and Djibouti have already eased a total flight ban which had seen medical supplies being held up, Hughes said.

Faced with tumbling passenger revenues, many airlines including three major U.S. carriers have begun chartering out wide-bodied jets for use on cargo-only missions.

Figures to be published next week will show global air freight traffic fell around 10% in February, putting it on course for a 15-20% drop for the year as a whole, Hughes said.

(Reporting by Tim Hepher; editing by Jason Neely and Mark Potter)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes
India

Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed in Afghanistan: Politicans, journalists pay tributes

The Pulitzer prize winner, who was in Kandahar covering operations against Taliban, was killed when he was riding along with the Afghan Special Forces

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed during assignment in Afghanistan's Kandahar province
India

Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed during assignment in Afghanistan's Kandahar province

Siddiqui had also covered the 2020 Delhi riots, COVID-19 pandemic, Nepal earthquake in 2015 and the protests in Hong Kong

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth
India

Danish Siddiqui's passing is a reminder of the high price one pays for showing the truth

Danish's photographs were not just documentation, but the work of someone who went down to eye-level, as they say in photographic parlance.