Air, Feature, Freight News

Brisk business for IAG Cargo

[ April 30, 2020   //   ]

Demand for cargo services remains strong, particularly amongst national health authorities requiring shipments of vital medical supplies, says John Cheetham, chief commercial officer at IAG Cargo.

At present, the carrier is operating up to five flights per day from Beijing to Dublin to transport PPE in a two-month critical supply operation for the Irish Health & Safety Executive.

IAG Cargo is seeing high demand for the movement of vital supplies of medical products, such as PPE, hand sanitiser and gowns, along with respirators, face masks and medical parts and equipment. Cheetham (pictured) adds: “In addition, we continue to transport high volumes of fresh produce across our network delivering food supplies into Europe from North and South America. Flows of pharmaceutical products using our temperature sensitive Constant Climate product have been consistent throughout this period. Last week we also brought 1.8 tonnes of swimming costumes into Heathrow.”

The global COVID-19 pandemic has posed a significant challenge to the entire aviation industry, including the cargo sector, he continues: “At IAG Cargo, we have been working hard to quickly adapt to the changing operational environment, offering new services and solutions to our customers. New services include our cargo-only flights and the ability to charter our aircraft. To increase capacity further, we are also utilising passenger cabins for cargo.”

IAG, through its subsidiaries including British Airways, Aer Lingus and Iberia operates one of the most comprehensive networks of cargo-only flights. The network includes destinations in Europe, North America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Between 22 March and 26 April IAG Cargo carried out  around 350 additional cargo-only flights.

IAG is also  about to significantly increase the number of flights coming into London from China. Currently, it is operating 14 flights each week from Shanghai and seven from Beijing carrying cargo in the hold and, where possible, in the cabin too.

The airfreight schedules are supported by an extensive trucking network.