15/04/2020

A bit of normality

EuroAirport Basel has an important role to play in the current coronavirus situation by enabling cargo flights to fly vital goods in and out of the region.

Travel is severely restricted world-wide. Passenger air traffic has come to a virtual standstill. Airports are open but practically no one is flying. Instead of the usual hundred take-offs per day, only one or two passenger flights are now operating from EuroAirport on any given day. Cargo traffic, a mainstay for EuroAirport, is providing a bit of normality in this extra-ordinary situation. International traffic in goods continues even in times of coronavirus. For a good reason: cargo flights often transport vital goods. They deliver surgical masks and protective clothing for medical personnel in our region. And they carry essential exports, like pharmaceuticals from Basel, to other countries.

Given the tense economic situation, trade in industrial goods and commodities is on the downturn. Notwithstanding, cargo traffic through EuroAirport has increased from ten to about fifteen flights per day because the Airport is backing up other cargo airports. When these airports no longer have the crisis capacity to handle air traffic, EuroAirport steps in. For example, Qatar Airways' cargo flights, which were originally scheduled to land in Luxembourg, are being diverted to Basel.

Some 70% of air cargo is usually transported on passenger flights. With those flights at a standstill, even airplanes designed exclusively for cargo transport are stretched to their limits. More and more airlines are adapting to the new situation by using empty passenger planes to fly cargo. As a result, large passenger planes which normally fly to other airports are now landing at EuroAirport.

To ensure that the usual supply chains are maintained without interruption, some of the cargo flights to and from EuroAirport are scheduled in the early morning or late evening. Thanks to these flights, we enable suppliers to meet the short delivery times crucial for essential goods. “We are pleased to ensure the connection to international air traffic through cargo flights. Medical service flights are also important to relieve hospitals in the region. The Airport is thus making a vital contribution to the region", says Matthias Suhr, Director of EuroAirport Basel.


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