Through to April 30 Delta is suspending its service between Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) and South Korea's Incheon Airport. The carrier is also reducing its service between Incheon and Atlanta, Detroit and Seattle to five times per week through April 30.
In addition, Delta will delay the planned March 29 launch of its new route between Incheon and Manila to May 1, reported New York's Air Cargo World.
Meanwhile, Hawaiian Air Cargo has shelved its five-times-weekly service between Honolulu and Incheon from March 2 through April 30, 'due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in South Korea'. As of the situation report from the World Health Organization, South Korea has the most confirmed cases of the virus outside China.
Cancellations have also spread to Europe, where Italy is currently the region?s hotspot for infections. Royal Jordanian Airlines started suspending its flights from Jordan?s Amman Airport to Rome. Several budget airlines have also reduced or cancelled flights to Italy due to falling demand.
While the announcements relate to passenger - rather than all-cargo flights - the impact of such cancellations is already well-documented in China. With 50 per cent of air cargo travelling in the bellies of passenger aircraft, air cargo movements will become increasingly reliant on freighter operations.
DSV Panalpina touted rail transport as a feasible alternative to congested ports and diminishing air capacity.
'Our dedicated rail team operates multiple rail services from China to destinations all over Europe,' DSV Panalpina said in a statement. Rail transport from northern and central China to Europe takes between 11 and 15 days, while transit time east from Europe to China takes longer, between 18 to 20 days, the forwarder estimated.