DALLAS – Due to the current situation in Russia and Ukraine, Nippon Cargo Airlines (KZ), located in Japan, has halted its European flight operations.
The freight carrier said that a number of flights to Europe would be canceled in the coming days. The carrier has scheduled cargo flights in Asia, Europe, and North America. The protracted delay has impacted flights between Narita (NRT) and Milan (MXP) and Schiphol (AMS).
Flights from NRT to AMS have been canceled for March 8, 9, and 12, according to the official release. On March 7, 9, 10, and 12, flights from AMS to NRT via MXP will be unavailable. On March 13, flights between MXP and NRT will also be unavailable.
“We are currently investigating air routes that do not pass through Russian airspace. We are aiming to resume our European flights as soon as possible,” said KZ.
Global Cargo Operation Disruptions
The aviation freight sector is under strain while the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is under Russian siege and commercial airspace above Ukraine and Russia is constrained. It is important to note that cargo became a more important revenue stream for airlines, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to IATA, cargo now accounts for a third of airline revenue.
Cargo aircraft transport US$6tr in commodities each year, accounting for 35% of global trade, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), planes. Consulting analyst Guillermo Ochovo (Cargo Facts Consulting) says the disruption to global airspace affects airlines responsible for hauling 20% to 22% of the world’s aviation cargo.
According to CEO Dorothea von Boxberg, the cargo division of German flag carrier Lufthansa (LH) expects a 10% reduction in shipping capacity between Asia and Europe for its own operations and the industry as a whole as a result of the sanctions that have closed off direct routes over Russia.
On its part, Cargolux (CV) recently announced a €3.5m donation to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine as a result of the conflict.
Russian Cargo Airlines
Of course, the airspace constraints particularly affect the Volga-Dnepr group airlines. AirBridgeCargo Airlines (RU), part of the group, is the largest Russian cargo airline.
Until the Ukraine crisis escalated into sanctions and airspace closures, RU operated scheduled cargo services on routes between Russia, Asia, Europe, and North America, covering more than 30 destinations worldwide.
Featured image: Nippon Cargo Airlines JA18KZ Boeing 747-8KZF. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways