China ensures int'l air transport of anti-virus supplies

Updated: April 17, 2020 Source:
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China's civil aviation authority has moved to ensure air cargo transport of supplies for the fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak worldwide.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) approved 655 temporary cargo flights from April 1 to 13, up 612 percent year on year. In March, it approved 1,919 temporary cargo flights, up 435 percent year on year.


China has provided support to the international community within its capacity while ensuring its domestic epidemic control and prevention, said Jin Junhao, an official with the CAAC.

From April 13 to 19, a total of 98 carriers in the sector of scheduled air cargo transport will operate 1,690 cargo flights from China to 90 destinations in 40 countries around the world.

To support the worldwide joint efforts in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, China's civil aviation authorities and enterprises are joining hands in increasing efficiency and capacity in air cargo transport.

SF Airlines, China's largest air cargo carrier, uses its all-cargo freighters to provide medical supplies and other necessities for daily life and work resumption.

The airline has been exploring potential uses of its fleet of 58 all-cargo freighters and air logistics linking more than 60 destinations worldwide, targeting to serve the international anti-pandemic efforts with reliable and high-quality fast transport.

Starting from March, the cargo airline has opened five international air cargo routes to Southeast Asia and another two routes to Europe for emergency supplies.


Thanks to the CAAC's "green channel" for international air cargo transport, these new cargo air routes received support and quick approval, according to SF Airlines.

The "green channel" is among CAAC's six major measures to comprehensively ensure the international supply chain and air cargo transport.

The CAAC has issued new policies and measures to reducing costs in international air cargo transport, improving approval efficiency and encouraging modified passenger aircraft for cargo missions.

Meanwhile, the CAAC also plays roles in arranging point-to-point charter cargo flights, connecting information between enterprises and carriers, and opening temporary flights and charter flights for critical supplies.


Amid increasing demand for transporting medical and other emergency supplies, modifying passenger aircraft for cargo flights has seen worldwide adoption. Major carriers have relied on this method to supplement their all-cargo freighters.

The CAAC encourages airlines at home and abroad to make use of their empty passenger aircraft for cargo missions by offering them more flexible approvals.

As of April 11, the CAAC had approved applications of 656 weekly scheduled cargo flights from domestic and international airlines. Besides, it also approved a total of 1,685 temporary charter cargo flights.

Starting mid-April, Lufthansa will comprehensively resume three daily flights between German cities and Shanghai, and two daily flights between German cities and Beijing, according to Lufthansa Cargo China.

All of these flights will be cargo flights, to be undertaken by modified passenger airplanes to carry goods. This move aims to meet strong air transport demand between Europe and China, especially the need to transport emergency supplies.

On April 13, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines launched special air cargo flights linking cities between the Netherlands and China, according to KLM China.

The Amsterdam-based KLM has arranged two weekly flights linking Beijing, and three weekly flights linking Shanghai with the Netherlands.

These special air cargo flights will provide around 250 tonnes of additional cargo capacity each way per week, which will supplement the increasing air cargo supplies to serve anti-pandemic efforts, said KLM.

Editor: 王若寒