Dutch shippers warn of air cargo disruption due to new Covid-19 rules
21 / 01 / 2021
By Damian Brett
Dutch shipper and logistics groups are warning that air cargo supply chains could face disruption as a result of new Covid-19 rules for travellers.
On January 20, the Dutch government announced stricter measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus by those arriving in the country.
The measures require passengers bound for the Netherlands from abroad take a rapid test prior to departure as well as a standard PCR test upon arrival.
Reports suggest that as a result, KLM will suspend 270 flights into the country, including all of its intercontinental flights — and its cargo flights — as well as some connections between the Dutch capital and other European destinations starting on January 22.
European flights cancelled include those connections where the carrier’s crew must spend a night.
Airfreight groups Air Cargo Netherlands, Fenex, evofenedex and Transport and Logistics Netherlands are calling on the Dutch government and KLM to come up with another safe solution as soon as possible.
“If this happens, it will have dramatic consequences for the Dutch international supply chain,” the groups said. “The fast and reliable air cargo chain has proved indispensable for many companies with an international supply chain in recent months.
“In addition, the air cargo chain has an essential role in the transport of Covid-19 vaccines and medical devices. KLM’s air cargo capacity is necessary for this.”
KLM told Dutch media:“We cannot run the risk of our staff being stranded somewhere. This is why we are stopping all intercontinental flights from Friday & all flights to European destinations where crew members have to spend the night.”
The new stricter rules also include a curfew and a temporary ban on flights to South Africa, South American countries and the UK.