Saudia Cargo hopes to add Europe-US freighter flights

By Damian Brett

Saudi Arabian Airlines is hoping to add a new freighter service between Europe and the US but has met some resistance from US carriers over the plans.

In late December, the carrier applied to the US Department of Transportation for a limited exemption for seventh freedom rights to operate all-cargo flights between Liege, New York JFK and Chicago O’Hare.

However, US carriers responded that they do not have seventh freedom rights to operate flights to Saudi Arabia and also questioned whether the flights are in the public interest.

In response, Saudi Arabian said it would consult with the country’s government about the possibility of providing reciprocal seventh-freedom rights to US all-cargo carriers.

The carrier also argued that the flights would be in the public’s interest.

Saudi Arabian Airlines believes that this limited exemption is requested in order to serve the public interest by helping to alleviate the supply chain delays caused by the increased volume of air cargo between Europe and the US due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Indeed, granting this application will greatly benefit US consumers and businesses by expanding the scope of all-cargo air transportation services between the US and Europe and beyond.”

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