International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) warned that air capacity for postal services is insufficient, urging governments to do more to support the movement of mail by air during the pandemic. The IATA, which represents some 290 airlines, and UPU, a UN specialised agency, said in a joint statement that postal administrations are facing a challenge in sending and delivering international mail.
IATA and UPU called on governments to facilitate the flexibility that airlines need to meet the critical demand by removing border blockages, avoiding “unnecessary regulations”, and ensuring the availability of trained staff to process and clear the mail upon arrival. They said that Posts and airlines are cooperating to meet the priority, as highlighted by G20 governments recently, to minimise disruptions to trade and global supply chains.
“The cancellation of more than 4.5 million passenger flights – the primary means of transporting post - has meant that capacity is scarce, costs more and takes longer. Action needs to be swiftly taken to address the shortfall in air cargo capacity and to keep the mail moving,” said UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein in a statement
Last week, IATA and the Airports Council International (ACI) had called for immediate financial relief to assist airport operators and airlines amid COVID-19 crisis. The associations urged the governments to provide the relief which will support the essential connectivity the industry will provide for economic recovery after the crisis subsides.
“The industry is united with governments around the world in efforts to stop the spread of the virus, and, in the face of massive government-imposed travel restrictions,” the statement read.
ACI and IATA demanded immediate relief through tax relief including alleviation of payroll taxes, corporate taxes, concession fees or other government incomes from the industry. It has also called for support via loans, loan guarantees or direct support to maintain the financial liquidity across the aviation ecosystem.