(Updated June 29, 2020)
- Canada has closed its borders to non-essential travel. Only four Canadian airports are accepting international flights.
- Latin America: Argentina and Colombia have banned international flights until Sept 2020, Chile has closed border to all foreigners starting on March 18, Peru has declared a state of emergency and closed borders starting on March 16. Brazil has sealed its borders to nine neighbouring countries.
- North America : US passenger travel restrictions from Europe including the UK and Ireland are still in place. The US closed its border to non-essential travel with Mexico starting on March 21. The US implemented a travel ban between Brazil and the US on May 28.
Cargo Impact – North Americas
- North Americas-Europe: Significant passenger flight cargo capacity reductions remain, compensated partially by “passenger freighters” and some newly added passenger flights. Freighter operations remain stable and space on the trade lane is available with some constraints and reductions in frequencies.
- North America-Asia: Capacity to main Asian hubs is mostly available as freighter schedules from the US are stable. Passenger operations are still limited, however. We see continued constraints from Asian transit hubs to secondary destinations due to reduction in intra-Asian passenger flight operations.
- North America- Middle East and Indian subcontinent: There are significant passenger flight cargo capacity reductions that are partially compensated for by “passenger freighters and some newly added passenger flights.
Cargo Impact – Latin America
- Latin America-Asia: Significant capacity reductions. In-transit though the US also subject to the same constraints as Asia-Americas trades.
- Latin-America-USA: Capacity has stabilized but is decreased compared to last year. There has been significant passenger capacity reduction, but added cargo capacity via freighters and “ghost flights.”
- Intra-Latin America: Significant capacity restrictions, because of passenger flight reductions. Broad travel restrictions are reducing capacity to freighters only, mostly served through Miami.
- Avianca and LATAM filed for bankruptcy protection. These moves are not expected to affect the carriers’ flight operations in the near-term.
- Australasia: Australia and New Zealand have announced that borders are closed to all visitors from March 20.
- China: New restrictions in China restrict Chinese airline carriers to only flying 1 route per week to/from China to all other countries. Foreign carriers may only fly to China once a week, irrespective of the origin point.
- East Asia: Hong Kong imposed self-isolation requirements for all visitors for 14 days starting on March 19, and is considering mandatory quarantine for all new arrivals. Taiwan has banned entry for most foreigners, and is requiring two weeks of self-isolation for all arrivals.
- India: The lock down in India has been extended until June 30th, with a continued ban on all international commercial (passenger flights) into India. Airlines have been operating passenger to charter or “ghost flights” for cargo. There are capacity constraints into the US, EU, and FE.
- Pakistan: International passenger flights were suspended on March 24 as all provinces went into government-mandated lockdown.
- Southeast Asia: Significant capacity constraints on already squeezed intra-Asian trade lanes, due to a number of new restrictions in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Singapore announced that as of March 22, short-term visitors and transits through Singapore would be halted. Malaysia has extended its lockdown and air border closure to visitors through April 14. Vietnam announced on March 21 that it would halt inbound international flights, and Thailand closed all sea, air and land borders on March 25.
- Declines on all Asia routes: Wide-body capacity decreases have taken place across all routes to and from Asia-Pacific, according to Seabury.
- Declines at all key cargo airports: All major Asian airports are showing declines in cargo capacity. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing show the largest declines in cargo capacity.
- Continued pressure on China outbound and inbound, but with some signs of recovery: Outbound air freight capacity is under tremendous pressure among all mainland China export markets as production resumes and passenger flight cancellations are sustained. A trend of ocean-to-air conversions exacerbates pressure on capacity outbound China. However, more freighters are entering the market.
- Customers may want to explore alternative transport models (Sea/Air option or Cross-border truck).
- Inbound capacity constraints from Europe, the Americas and the Middle East continue as all regions have reduced passenger operations to China.
- Unprecedented rate surge on intra-Asian lanes: Massive capacity reduction resulting from passenger flight and freighter cancellations. Air freight rates on Intra-Asia lanes are extremely high, volatile and have been increasing rapidly, which are in turn constraining the long-haul export capacity to both Europe and US.
- Hong Kong: Intra-Asia lanes are experiencing heavy congestion from South China, but the export market from Hong Kong to Europe and US is picking up gradually. We have seen a sharp increase in rates to both Europe and US triggered by new entry restrictions; charter rates have surged.
- From March 17 for at least 30 days, the EU has closed off 26 countries – with a combined population of more than 400 million people – to nearly all visitors from the rest of the world.
- Turkey: Turkey has halted international passenger flights as of March 27, with exceptions for only five routes.
- Russia: Russia closed all borders as of March 30.
- Cargo-only “passenger” flights compensate for a small portion of lost belly capacity. As per Seabury’s latest report, more than 20 carriers have announced cargo-only flights with passenger aircraft; but even if all passenger flights only carried cargo, their current belly capacity would still be 75% lower than it was in January
- Europe – US: Capacity shortages and considerable increases to spot price rates. Space available with constraints.
- Europe – China: Significant capacity constraints and surge in rates.
- Europe – South East Asia: Significant capacity constraints in Europe- South East Asia trades due to the reduction in passenger flights. Rates are soaring.
- Europe-Middle East: Significant capacity constraints and high rates.
Middle East & Africa
- Arabian Gulf and the Levant: Scheduled Passenger flights with minimum capacity will resume operation in some of the GCC and Levant countries. UAE, Qatar and Turkey have already started mid-June, while Lebanon and Oman are expected to resume commercial international flights on1 July. Saudi Arabia have resumed domestic flights but have yet to make any official announcement on the resumption of international flights.
- Iraq: Basra airport operations, for both cargo and passengers, will be on hold until March 25. Baghdad airport operations, for both cargo and passengers, will be on hold until March 25. Najaf airport is closed. Iraq has also partially stopped truck movements at certain border crossings with Turkey.
- North Africa: Egypt will resume Passenger flights on 1 July, whilst Morocco has already opened its borders with neighboring countries and started a few scheduled flights to France, Switzerland and Canada.
- Southern Africa: Domestic flights resumed in South Africa while there is no news yet on when the airport will open for International passenger flights. Angola and Mozambique are still restricting passenger flights. “Essential items” of food, cleaning and hygiene products, and medical supplies are being moved by air freight are given priority over other products.
- West Africa: Ghana has closed all borders starting March 23, Nigeria closed all borders starting March 23.
- East Africa: Kenya announced that they will resume international passenger flights on 15 July. Uganda closed its border as of March 23. Rwanda has also closed its borders to all passenger flights. For both countries, cargo services will continue as normal.
- Carriers are operating scheduled freighters, but cargo is also moving on an adhoc / unscheduled freighter or charter basis.
- Some passenger aircraft from the region’s largest carriers are now being converted into temporary freighters; flying with no passengers on board but with cargo in the hold.
- Committed capacity can no longer be guaranteed; suspension of all contractual rates and tariffs
- Rates for charters have doubled
- Air freight rates have reached unprecedented levels.
- Airline Cargo Operations Status: IATA has added an Airlines Cargo Operations Status page that offers status updates for nearly all of the world’s cargo carriers. On the page, which is searchable by carrier, operations are classified as Normal, Pending Information, Status Suspended, Some Service Impact, and Unknown.
- IATA Issues New Guidelines for Safe Transport of Cargo in Passenger Cabins: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued new guidelines for the safe transport of cargo in the cabins of passenger aircraft. Airlines around the world have been using their widebody aircraft for cargo-only flights that use belly space to move air shipments. Now some wish to use passenger cabins to carry additional air freight. IATA’s guidelines include recommendations and a detailed safety risk assessment for carriers. A letter about the new guidelines from IATA’s CargoIS team is here.
- Air Cargo Impact Report: IATA release a second COVID-19 Air Cargo Impact report, focusing on market dynamics in mainland China and offering analysis of Hong Kong, Germany, the US and other key cargo markets. (April 24)