As Tiaca and Iata continue to lobby governments to relax restrictions on cargo movements, airlines are looking for ways to keep shipments flying.

IAG Cargo sent a note to customers yesterday, offering its passenger aircraft for charters.

“To support your freight and to help get it where it needs to be, we are now opening up the opportunity for freight forwarders to charter our aircraft where needed,” wrote chief commercial officer John Cheetham.

Lufthansa Cargo also looked to try to reassure customers.

“We are doing everything in our power to keep our freighter services stable. On the other side, the extensive changes within our network of passenger flights have a direct impact on the available belly capacities. In order to compensate for these shortfalls, changes in the scheduling of our cargo aircraft are also likely in the coming days.”

It told customers developments were “too dynamic” and urged them to visit its website or Twitter feed to learn of daily flight changes.

“We will also inform you about currently bookable connections via our API interface and our network page,” it added. “We regret the necessary adjustments to the flight schedule and the inconvenience caused – and thank you for your commitment and cooperation in these challenging times.”

Turkish Cargo said it was increasing its freighter frequencies to “full capacity”, while also using passenger aircraft for cargo demand.

“Turkish Cargo will start to serve for cargo transport purposes by making use of the aircraft available in its fleet, in addition to its current cargo freighter capacity, which was increased to 25 from 13 during the last four years.”

Meanwhile, Tiaca this morning joined Iata in lobbying governments for support.

“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,” it said

“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.”

It said its goal was to draw attention to the critical role of air cargo, but also to the financial challenges facing the industry. It cited lease payments on aircraft, salaries, energy supplies and other payments, as well as difficulties stemming from travel bans, crew movement restrictions, airport slots and route changes.

“We support Iata’s appeal to have air cargo recognised 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.

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