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Not enough planes to deliver international post, governments warned


Stock photo: Getty

Stock photo: Getty

Stock photo: Getty

Governments have warned that there’s not enough air capacity to support efficient mail deliveries as global airline fleets remain grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU) had urged governments this morning to do more to support the delivery of mail.

China has already resorted to using mail-only trains to clear a massive backlog of post that’s destined for Europe. The first such train from China was unloaded in Lithuania last week carrying mail and two containers of medical supplies. Each train carries about 300 tonnes of mail, with trucks then delivering the post to 30 countries across Europe.

There’s been a 95pc reduction in global passenger flights due to Covid-19, with such services typically used to transport mail.

The pandemic has also seen the level of online shopping soar. IATA said there’s been a 25pc to 30pc increase in demand for e-commerce as customers and businesses shop online.

“Postal administrators are facing a challenge in sending and delivering international mail, in particular, cross-continental mail,” said IATA.

“IATA and UPU are calling on governments to facilitate the flexibility that airlines need to meet this critical demand by removing border blockages to ensure trade flows continue, avoiding unnecessary regulations and fast tracking the issuance of permits for chartered operations,” the organisations said today .

“Additionally, ensuring adequately trained staff are available to process and clear the mail upon arrival is essential,” they added.

“Airlines have been required to cut passenger services in the fight to stop the spread of Covid-19,” said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. “So, it’s vital that everything is done to support the smooth movement of mail which is an important component of society.”

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