As the global Covid-19 crisis continues, airlines realize that apart from being amongst the first industries hit they will probably be the last to recover. Whilst for most passenger airlines cargo traditionally had been an ad-on business it has turned out to be the dominant remaining source of income during the crisis. But what role is cargo going to play in the recovery process and what are the key success factors to recovery?
The Covid-19 crisis has hit the aviation industry harder than anything else for the last seven decades. Whilst passenger numbers went back to levels of the 1950’s, cargo has been hit much less – and the lost capacities caused soaring airfreight rates.
Whereas the recovery scenario foresees an industry that, by 2023 will probably be significantly smaller than today, cargo will become a much more important revenue stream as compared to pre-crisis. Once it comes to re-building flight networks, airlines will make sure that cargo revenues are factoring into their income mix – hence cargo becomes an important competitive factor for airports, making their way back onto carriers’ network maps.
To maximize their share in soaring cargo revenues, carriers have started to use passenger aircraft as freighters – which comes with its own challenges from certification over turn-around times and practical aircraft loading.
Further insights from Lufthansa Consulting’s aviation experts are available here
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