Commentary: Coronavirus spurring air cargo growth <p>Copyright @ PLANES+ROCKETS</p> Opinion – The Reflector

Commentary: Coronavirus spurring air cargo growth

Copyright @ PLANES+ROCKETS

Opinion – The Reflector

It’s no secret that airlines and airplane manufacturers have been clobbered by the coronavirus pandemic. Particularly hard hit are international flights traditionally flown by jumbo jets. Borders are closed and people aren’t flying.

There is a small silver-lining. Just as restaurants started take-out service to survive, airlines are filling planes with freight. 

U.S. airlines are reeling from the pandemic and have lost more than $20 billion combined in the last two quarters. Even with the surge in air freight rates, cargo revenues aren’t enough to make up for those losses on their own, especially with capacity still limited, CNBC’s Leslie Joseph reported earlier this month. 

“However, it has become a more important revenue source with many passengers still forgoing flights.”

Before the coronavirus, decades of a long aviation boom spawned a network of nearly 50,000 air routes that traversed the world. In less than a year, the pandemic wiped almost a third of them off the map, according to Angus Whitley of Traveller.com. 

In late January, 47,756 operational routes crisscrossed the world, more than half of them in the U.S., Western
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