Coronavirus: ESC calls for additional freight flights after US entry ban

President Trump of the United States (USA) announced last night that, from Friday noon until end of April, an entry ban applies to residents of the European Union (EU). United Kingdom (UK) residents are exempted.

Despite the fact that entry of goods is excluded from the ban, there will be major consequences for air freight transport with the US.

As a result of the entry ban, a large proportion of passenger flights between the US and the EU will be cancelled in April. About fifty percent of the air cargo to and from the US is transported in the belly of these passenger aircrafts. The remaining fifty percent is transported through cargo flights. No doubt, this will result in a shortage of air cargo capacity, consequently, the rates will rise and delays will increase.

It remains unclear whether cargo flights with a European crew will be banned from entry.

Free slots

ESC calls for urgent measures to secure the shipment of, amongst others, urgent and medical goods to China and the US. Because many slots are released due to the cancellation of passenger flights, there is sufficient capacity at the European airports to handle additional cargo flights.

According to ESC, these slots should be partly used for additional freight flights to limit the damage to companies and to ensure that urgent and medical goods remain available. This also provides opportunity for other stakeholders.