Reklam
Reklam
Reklam
Reklam
Reklam

Southwest Airlines joins rank to offer freight-only flights to forwarders

SOUTHWEST Airlines has followed the ranks of passenger airlines offering their aircraft to logistics companies and other shippers for dedicated cargo charters, in a bid to recoup some lost revenue from the widespread grounding of fleets due to coronavirus travel restrictions, which have resulted in nominal bookings and a spike in cancellations

27 April 2020 - 19:00

SOUTHWEST Airlines has followed the ranks of passenger airlines offering their aircraft to logistics companies and other shippers for dedicated cargo charters, in a bid to recoup some lost revenue from the widespread grounding of fleets due to coronavirus travel restrictions, which have resulted in nominal bookings and a spike in cancellations.

The Dallas-based carrier announced on its blog that, for the first time in its nearly 50 years of existence, it will allow freight forwarders and other cargo customers to rent airplanes. It separately said it is cutting capacity for May through early June by more than 40 per cent, which translates to about 2,000 flights per day, reports New York's FreightWaves.



'It's something that's available for anybody shipping those critical things that need to move fast and have a little more volume than can be handled in the commercial network at the moment,' said Wally Devereaux, managing director of cargo and charters, in an interview.



The economics of operating a plane with empty seats and cargo only in the bellyhold is especially challenging for narrow-body aircraft, but with fuel costs extremely low, freight rates high and capacity tight, the cargo-only product may work for all sides.



Cargo volumes have fallen in the past few weeks, but the drop has 'not been as dramatic as what we've seen on the passenger side of the house,' Mr Devereaux added. Southwest is busy carrying COVID-19 test kits, personal protective equipment and e-commerce orders for individuals shopping online while stuck at home.



In related news, Southwest has disclosed that it has borrowed US$2.3 billion from J P Morgan Chase, in addition to the previous $1 billion term loan it took last month.



Airlines are tapping private markets, as much as possible, to maintain liquidity, even though they are eligible for billions in dollars of emergency federal assistance.


SeaNews Turkey

This news 478 hits received.