TIACA calls on African governments to take action for air cargo
The air cargo community in Africa must formulate a recovery plan that will enable it to sustain the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic; requiring a collaborative strategy between all stakeholders.
The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has raised concerns for the African air-cargo sector, which has experienced a significant drop in capacity to Europe by 70 per cent compared to 2019, according to CLIVE Data Services.
Despite the vital role air cargo plays in providing people with basic necessities and essential medical equipment, the situation is becoming very concerning in Africa. TIACA is calling on all stakeholders – institutional and private – to take action without delay.
“We are encouraging African airlines to respond to capacity requirements immediately, in particular by putting passenger freighter systems in place, such as those implemented by airlines including Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, SAA and Rwandair,” said Sanjeev Gadhia, TIACA Vice Chairman and CEO of Astral Aviation. “Collaboration and cooperation between African airlines across their respective fleets and networks are both essential so we can overcome the challenges we are facing.”
An example of the COVID-19 impact, according to Gadhia, is the drop in the capacity of perishable exports in Nairobi to Europe, which has dropped from 5,000 tonnes to 1,800 tonnes per week. This will have disastrous effects on the agriculture sector in Kenya, which is yet to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
TIACA calls on African governments and civil aviation authorities to take immediate measures to support the aviation sector and economy, in particular:
- Airport closures due to lockdown, closure or curfew measures
- Quarantining of crews in certain African airports and the need to standardise crew quarantine requirements, including providing dedicated rest areas
- Lifting the night bans affecting the move of ground staff
- Restrictions and limitations on cargo flights in certain African countries
- Simplifying procedures and easing the clearance for goods like pharma and food
- Fumigation requirements put in place in multiple African countries.