December 2, 2020

Cargo airlines denounce obstacles that delay the arrival of medical supplies

They request that administrative procedures be made more flexible to expedite the arrival of urgent “charter” flights with merchandise

In recent days, tons of medical supplies, mostly from China, are arriving in Spain to stop the coronavirus pandemic. But although the flow does not stop, it could be a greater circumstance, the amount, which is decisive in stopping the spread of the virus as soon as possible. According to assures Foro MADCargo, the association that includes companies dedicated to the air transport of goods in Madrid, at the moment there are restrictions that are hindering the operation of cargo flights that bring material to fight the coronavirus.

MADCargo Forum has warned that “You cannot delay shipments of medicines, masks or respirators due to restrictions or administrative formalities that make no sense in the time of global emergency against the pandemic.” For this reason, the association has requested the collaboration of Aena for its elimination. On the one hand, regarding flight rights and despite the drop in passenger flights, the entity denounces that requests for new permits and “slots” for cargo flights are taking a long time to be granted, making it difficult to organize “charters” urgent with medical supplies. “Permits should be granted urgently and free of charge to support logistical efforts”, the forum has claimed. Along these same lines, according to Foro MADCargo, traffic rights / multilateral agreements are leading to a lack of optimization of international routes. Along these lines, the association demands that Spain support a temporary open skies policy to keep the air cargo supply chain as effective as possible, for example by facilitating direct routes that avoid unnecessarily long stopover flights.

Foro MADCargo has also requested that facilitate the transport and mobility of professional crew members of cargo aircraft, avoiding for example the possible restrictions of entry into Spain. In addition, the association assures that the accommodation of the crews has become a serious problem since, due to the closure of the hotels, the crews lack places where they can take legally established breaks. For this reason, they demand that hotels be enabled at or near airports to serve them.

Aid to companies

Within the necessary measures to facilitate the air transport of goods, the MADCargo Forum has also asked Aena for flexibility measures given the situation of companies in the sector, in this case, MADCargo has made a request for flexibility in the payment of rentals of companies that operate in the Air Cargo Center of Madrid-Barajas Airport. According to the MADCargo Forum, “the difficult situation in which we find ourselves requires all the measures of flexibility in expenses that are possible for the maintenance of a key link more than ever for society”. In this sense, MADCargo Forum has requested Aena the exemption in the collection of office and warehouse rentals to companies located in the Air Cargo Center of Barajas Airport during the time that the current circumstances last. This action should not be delayed beyond this week, defends Foro MADCargo, which recalls how companies in the air cargo logistics chain are being strongly impacted by the suspension of flights and the collapse of the air transport offer, despite its key role in developing new flights that allow the supply of basic necessities.

According to Jesús Cuéllar, president of Foro MADCargo, “the commitment of these companies in the development of cargo activity at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport is evident for many years, so we trust that this request, aligned with measures that are being promoted from the Community and the City Council


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