National governments should support their designated postal operators, air cargo carriers and express mail operators through financial assistance and operational flexibility, urged the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
“These operators constitute critical infrastructure and are important partners in the fight against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while also driving economic recovery and expansion,” underlined ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu.
The call comes after the volume of world trade registered a 12.5% year-on-year drop in the second quarter of 2020, according to the Dutch Office for Economic Policy Analysis.
Signed by Liu and UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein, the statement also reaffirms their commitment as UN specialized agencies to foster greater international cooperation to help contain the virus and protect the health of essential workers. .
“These staff keep the world connected in terms of emergency food and many other medical and humanitarian needs and ensure that the world can still depend on efficient global supply chains,” Liu said.
The joint ICAO / UPU statement highlights the recommendations and associated global roadmap of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Working Group (CART), including the need to ensure essential connectivity as one of its 10 key principles. .
Importantly, this principle puts air cargo, a key contributor to the global supply chain, in clear focus.
Since the early days of the pandemic, ICAO has been collaborating with global air cargo stakeholders, including the UPU, as well as other global supply chain stakeholders.
This coordination has improved information sharing and is helping to promote solutions to the unique challenges faced by various stakeholders.
“In the future, ICAO and the UPU will intensify our joint work initiated through the existing Memorandum of Understanding, and with a view to understanding how Covid-19 and geopolitical trends are affecting the evolution of the global supply chain,” emphasized the Secretary General of ICAO.
CTK levels, actual and seasonally adjusted
Global demand for air cargo, measured in cargo ton-kilometers (CTKs), fell 13.5% in July (-15.5% for international operations) compared to the previous year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported.