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Air Partner Encourages Advance Freight Arrangements Amidst Capacity Limitations Due to COVID-19

Air Partner Freight - 16 Mar 2020

Following growing constraints on logistics due to measures imposed to contain COVID-19 ("novel coronavirus"), Air Partner is imploring companies to book air cargo transport in advance to secure availability and keep their supply chains moving.

The global private aviation leader today released updates on cargo trends and availability, citing the development of the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic. Air Partner provides freight customers with full access to any type of cargo aircraft, as well as flight options throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, the Middle East and beyond.

"With nearly 60 years of experience in global aviation, Air Partner has incredibly strong supplier relations and in times of crisis, we do everything imaginable to ensure our clients can keep their businesses moving,” said Air Partner’s CEO Mark Briffa. “We’re seeing a spike in air freight service requests as many commercial flights are being grounded and at a time when Chinese industrial production is restarting after a month-long shutdown. There is still immediate charter availability, but we foresee that could change in the coming weeks.”

Key updates issued today by Air Partner, as it pertains to aircraft charter solutions during the changing global market, include:


  • Availability – Air Partner has access to any freight aircraft between North America and Europe or between North America and China, or South East Asia, at a moment’s notice. While travel restrictions are rapidly changing, Air Partner foresees that may continue to evolve in the coming weeks. If availability does decrease, prices will surge. As such, to reduce risk and guarantee availability, Air Partner recommends companies secure aircraft charter solutions as soon as they are needed.
  • Price Surge – Freight rates from China have already begun to increase as demand increases. Figures from the latest TAC Index show air freight prices from Shanghai to North America increased by 32.3 percent from a week earlier to $4.02 per kilogram, while prices from the Chinese city to Europe jumped by 15.8 percent compared with the prior seven days to $2.71 per kilogram. Meanwhile, prices from Hong Kong to North America increased by 11.5 percent week on week to $3.59 per kilogram and there was a 3.2 percent increase to $2.58 per kilogram on services to Europe.
  • Demand & Capacity for Europe – With the current travel ban on passenger transport between the U.S. and Europe set to begin Friday night, March 13, passenger airlines will be halting or reducing frequencies. This will cause an immediate negative impact on availability and significant increase in pricing for cargo capacity to Europe for at least 30 days.
  • Demand & Capacity for Asia – China continues to experience significant capacity reductions and available cargo capacity from China was down 39 percent versus last year. Flight cancellations on routes to China have removed close to 5,000 tons per day of capacity, with belly capacity down by 85 percent and main deck capacity down by 12 percent. Due to the demand in the market, Boeing 747F, Boeing 777F and MD-11 are likely to be the first aircraft affected by availability fluctuations.
  • Airline Suspensions – More than 40 airlines have temporarily suspended operations to and from China to-date and this is likely to continue to rise with no estimated date to recommence commercial airline operations. China Production – With China beginning to slowly ramp up production again, it will take some time for scheduled freight operators to readjust their capacities to normal schedule. Charter service can cover this shortfall.
  • Airport Operations in China – Air Partner is seeing a reduction in slots across China. For example, the Shanghai Pudong Airport (PVG) is reducing services and moving operations to other alternate airports in China such as Changsha Huanghua International Airport (CSX), Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO), Ningbo Lishe International Airport (NGB) and Sunan Shuofang International Airport (WUX).


During the coronavirus outbreak, Air Partner has seen a large increase in urgent freight requests from companies seeking to transport a number of different commodities between North America, Asia and Europe. Most recently, Air Partner transported a surplus of hand sanitizer and hygiene supplies from the U.S. to China as corporations and businesses must comply with sanitation regulation standards. All permits, loading and compulsory processes were handled by Air Partner to ensure smooth running of the operation. The dedicated freight team was on-site for loading and coordination of the aircraft.

With a global network of offices, Air Partner is able to provide 24/7 dedicated support to ensure cargo arrives safely, securely, on time and on budget. In addition, customers can take advantage of worldwide empty legs for cost savings on one-way charter flights.