Air cargo has played a critical role this year both during and in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. We have seen images of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shipments being transported around the world by a proactive and responsive cargo industry. Air freight not only plays an important role in supporting global supply chains, but also in providing much-needed relief to the aviation industry, particularly in a year where, according to IATA, around US$440 billion of market revenue is projected to be lost.
While the contribution of air freight to airlines and logistics companies is well known, it is not entirely clear how airports perceive the value of air cargo to their business. At most airports, freighter movements are relatively limited and do not significantly contribute to aeronautical revenue. Many airports therefore may prefer to develop other (more profitable) activities instead – such as parking and commercial businesses.