ICAO and UPU urge governments to support air cargo

By Damian Brett

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) have urged governments to support the air cargo industry in order to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and aid economic recovery.

The two organsiations issued a joint statement to United Nations members urging them to support postal operators, air cargo carriers, and express mail operators through financial aid and operational flexibility.

“These operators constitute critical infrastructure and are important partners in combatting the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, while also driving economic recovery and expansion,” said ICAO secretary general Fang Liu.

ICAO and the UPU said the joint statement highlights the recommendations and associated global roadmap of the ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), which includes the need to ensure essential connectivity as one of its ten key principles, putting air cargo, a “key contributor to the global supply chain, in clear focus”.

The statement reads: “The fulfilment of the international postal service mission, as well as that of air cargo carriers and express mail operators, is highly dependent on the support of member countries in recognizing the essential nature of these services, ensuring operators’ financial stability and providing their workers with the flexibility required to undertake their duties.

“ICAO and the UPU encourage member countries to work in tandem with their designated postal operators and air transport operators to strengthen collaboration between global supply chain stakeholders. Moreover, these agencies call on such stakeholders to work with them in improving supply chain resiliency and dependability through active participation in digitalisation efforts, specifically through the development of standards and updated guidance materials.”

Since the early days of the pandemic, ICAO has been working with global air cargo stakeholders, including UPU, as well as other global supply chain stakeholders to co-ordinate information sharing and foster solutions to the unique challenges faced by the various stakeholders.

“Going forward, ICAO and UPU will intensify our joint work initiated through the existing Memorandum of Understanding, and with a view to understanding how Covid-19 and geopolitical trends are affecting global supply chain evolution,” the ICAO secretary general added.

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