The International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have urged governments to do more to support the movement of mail by air during the COVID-19 crisis.
Owing to the 95% reduction in passenger flights, which are typically used to transport mail, and a 25-30% increase in demand for e-commerce, postal administrations are facing a challenge in sending and delivering international and cross-continental mail.
IATA and UPU are calling on governments to facilitate the flexibility that airlines need to meet demand by removing border blockages to ensure continuing trade flows, avoiding unnecessary regulations and fast tracking the issuance of permits for chartered operations. Additionally, it is essential ensuring adequately trained staff are available to process and clear the mail upon arrival
IATA and UPU said they are also working to support posts’ use of cargo flights in addition to commercial passenger flights by providing information on the airlines and cargo carrier status, available new alternative routes and best practices.
“Posts are trusted partners in the delivery of goods, medical supplies and essential information on the pandemic. The cancellation of more than 4.5m passenger flights – the primary means of transporting post – has meant that capacity is scarce, costs higher and there are longer waiting times. Action needs to be swiftly taken to keep the mail moving,” said UPU’s Director General Bishar A. Hussein.
G20 governments have committed to minimise disruptions to trade and global supply chains as they identified the need to prioritise keeping air logistics networks open and efficient. Posts and airlines said they are cooperating to meet this priority.