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Air cargo braces for Covid-19 vaccine capacity constraints: survey

AN Air Cargo News survey has shown that the air cargo industry is expecting to face capacity shortages when a Covid-19 vaccine is developed and needs transporting around the world

16 September 2020 - 19:00

AN Air Cargo News survey has shown that the air cargo industry is expecting to face capacity shortages when a Covid-19 vaccine is developed and needs transporting around the world.

The survey found that 50 per cent of the industry is expecting to face capacity shortages in 'certain areas' when a vaccine is released.



And while this will cause concern for shippers, forwarders and airlines, most of the respondents did not go as far as saying there would be a 'major' capacity shortage, with 27 per cent of respondents expecting this more serious scenario.



Meanwhile, 10 per cent of respondents said they expected there to be easily enough capacity and 13 per cent said there should just about be enough cargo space.



In respondent comments, it was pointed out that capacity is already under pressure given the grounding of passenger operations and the sudden and urgent demand would only exacerbate the situation. Other more optimistic participants said that there was plenty of latent capacity on the ground, passenger aircraft, that could be reactivated to meet a surge in demand.



However, others pointed out re-activating passenger aircraft would depend on pricing and whether carriers can do so at a profitable level.



Others pointed out that the volume of vaccines will be less than the amount of PPE that needed to be transported around the world earlier in the year, a task the airlines were largely able to meet, although there was a capacity shortage out of China and rapid increase in rates from Asia Pacific.



Another responder felt that a vaccine release would not happen in a single transaction and added there would be a co-ordinated approach with a geographic spread. This should help avoid a sudden surge, reports London's Air Cargo News.


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