Article Written by Sofia Marrero and James Field

MIAMI – Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) announced on the weekend that it reached the title of the world’s busiest airfield for aircraft operations.

As ANC stated on Twitter (@ANCairport), the maintenance, increase and significance of its cargo movements come after the global aviation system changed.

This is due to the plunge in passenger demand, worldwide travel restrictions, and the later extensions, and the need for cargo flights.

In 2014, the airport ranked as the world’s fifth busiest airport for cargo operations, behind Hong Kong (HKG), Memphis (MEM), Shanghai (PVG), and Seoul Incheon (ICN), according to the Airports Council International (ACI).

In 2018, it secured fifth place remains handling 2,713,230 tonnes of cargo, which represented a 6.7% increase compared to 2017.

As ANC is located in Alaska, its presence as “Air Crossroads of the World” remains as a fuel hub that connects intercontinental flights.

In prior years, the major passenger and cargo flights of the airfield were handled by Alaska Airlines (AS) by over 80% compared with other carriers. Further, the major airlines that serve ANC are from the US.

The AN-225 Becomes the Highlight of Anchorage…

Photo: Bill Roth of Anchorage Daily News

One highlight of Anchorage Airport in recent days and weeks was the emergence of Antonov’s AN-225 Mriya shipping medical supplies to the areas that need it in Alaska and around the rest of the globe.

The AN-225 had recently made an emergence after remaining on the ground for some period of weeks and months.

Now it is operating several cargo operations to assist in the effort to transport personal protective equipment (PPE) for those on the frontline fighting the Coronavirus.

Cargo Will Thrive During The Pandemic…

It remains clear that while the commercial passenger side of the industry is struggling, the cargo side is thriving.

In Anchorage for example, UPS, FedEx, Cathay Pacific among others have had to increase flights to cater for such demand.

From PPE to general packaging, the main cargo hubs will continue to see success.

Overall, whilst the pandemic is taking its toll on the industry, it is not overwhelming all sectors and is trying to prove beneficial to the industry, especially going into the post-COVID era.