Economic research and analysis indicate that the air cargo market will be very active for the rest of the year. One of the reasons is that many enterprises are switching to air transportation due to extreme shipping delays caused by congestion in ports and overloading of ships. The manufacturing sector remains stable at this stage. Also, the export of personal protective equipment from Asia to Europe and the USA is now very powerful.
Pharmaceutical companies are rapidly increasing their supply of Covid-19 vaccines while actively using the air cargo industry. Therefore, one of the key trends in the development of air cargo transportation in 2021 is the transportation of vaccines.
Due to the peculiarities and requirements for the transportation of such cargo, air carriers are forced to have a well-thought-out logistics strategy. The number of shipments carried by air is gradually increasing, more vaccines are available and more countries are launching vaccination programs.
For example, Emirates SkyCargo shipps six different types of Covid-19 vaccines. The carrier also transports syringes around the world to support vaccinations.
SkyTeam Cargo has developed and launched a dedicated vaccine delivery program.
Cathay Pacific Cargo launches additional cargo flights to meet the demand for airborne vaccines.
Etihad Airways, Lufthansa Cargo, United Airlines and others reached an agreement with UNICEF in early 2021 to prioritize the supply of Covid-19 vaccines over other cargo. They also pledged to increase the lifting capacity if necessary.
Positive sentiment for development in 2021 is noticeable at Deutsche Post DHL, whose profit reached record levels in the first quarter. DP DHL Group CEO Frank Appel said that “Global trade continues to recover and vaccine distribution is in full swing, which makes me very optimistic about 2021 and beyond.”
Experts also suggest that during 2021, many world airlines will continue to convert passenger aircraft into full-fledged cargo aircraft. For example, SmartLynx Airlines Cargo removed the seats from two of its A321 aircraft in April to actively participate in the vaccine delivery.