President Donald Trump has extended travel restrictions to the U.K. and Ireland over the weekend, effective Monday at midnight. The restrictions are identical to those already placed on 26 European countries.
The new bans do NOT include cargo, but will have an effect, regardless. It is reported that 60% of airfreight between Europe and the U.S. flies in the belly of passenger planes. Airlines faced with a reduction of passenger volumes will likely cancel flights between Europe and the U.S. That would squeeze capacity for “vital air cargo shipments that depend on passenger flights,” one expert said. “This effects everything from technology goods to health care-related shipments including medical supplies and equipment.”
Europe is also a gateway to the Middle East and Africa, and global connections have already been severely limited because of the reduction in passenger aircraft, one airfreight expert said. “This is going to create an enormous amount of friction at a time when global freight is needed more than ever.”
North of the border, Canada has also announced preliminary restrictions on travel, but has not announced a ban. Transport Minister Marc Garneau said international arrivals will have to flow through a limited number of airports, but those have not been announced yet.
Mallory Alexander has seen multiple passenger airlines issue cancellations for Europe, UK, Ireland and select Latin America routes. We are also seeing some freighters adding Transatlantic capacity through charters and added routes in an effort to continue to service critical cargo destinations. Further, many airlines that are operating have notified us that contracted rates will not be honored for international flights at this time. For rate and schedule information, please reach out to your Mallory Representative.