This story is part of AIN's continuing coverage of the impact of the coronavirus on aviation.
Etihad Airways on Tuesday said it would boost cargo capacity to markets suffering from decreased passenger operations or travel bans resulting from the Covid-19 outbreak. The moves come as Etihad Cargo announced its freighter schedule for the IATA summer season, during which it plans to boost capacity to several of its cargo gateways.
From March 29 to October 28, Etihad Cargo’s summer schedule reflects weekly freighter flights added to European cities including Amsterdam, Milan, and Paris, as well as increased freighter frequencies across major Asian and African cities.
In Asia, the seasonal plan doubles Etihad Cargo’s Hong Kong services to four flights per week, while Hanoi gains a third-weekly service and Singapore a second weekly flight. The additions complete the currently operated seasonal winter schedule across China, India, and Bangladesh.
In Europe, Etihad cargo will add two extra weekly freighter flights to Amsterdam, bringing the total there to five times a week. Milan moves to a twice-weekly turnaround freighter service, while Etihad Cargo will launch new freighter connections linking Abu Dhabi with Paris. The new freighter flights will depart Abu Dhabi International Airport for Paris Charles De Gaulle on Thursdays and Saturdays. The same day return services will add 200 tons of incremental weekly freight capacity between the UAE and the French capital, while services into Johannesburg and Nairobi jump to twice weekly.
“With widespread commercial flight restrictions in numerous international markets, the air cargo environment is evolving daily,” said Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, managing director for cargo and logistics at Etihad Aviation Group. “After consulting closely with local and international authorities, our optimized summer freighter schedule is designed to significantly boost capacity and service customers in key cargo markets.”