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Airlines lift 41% less PH cargo in 2020; Korean Air carries most volume

  • International cargo and mail handled by airlines operating in the Philippines declined 41% in 2020 from 2019
  • Korean Air carried the most shipments, with 10% of the total, displacing Philippine Airlines, which for years has traditionally led the pack
  • Incoming cargoes sank 38% in 2020 from 2019; outgoing cargoes decreased 44%

Weak demand and decreased airline space due to COVID-19 travel restrictions slashed by 41% international cargo and mail handled by airlines operating in the Philippines in 2020 from 2019.

In the Philippines, only repatriation, sweeper, and cargo flights were allowed to operate during the period mid-March until June, when restrictions were eased and limited domestic flights permitted.

Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed the airlines lifted 218.808 million kilograms (kg) in 2020 from 370.603 million kg in 2019.

RELATED READ: COVID cuts by 55% PH airlines’ 2020 cargo volumes

Last year saw major changes in the listing of top carriers. Korean Air carried the most shipments at 22.211 million kg or 10% of the total, displacing Philippine Airlines, which for years has traditionally led the pack. The South Korean-based carrier jumped to first place from sixth in 2019.

PAL did not even make it to the top 20 list of top carriers in 2020.

Of the total 2020 international cargo and mail traffic handled by 33 carriers operating in the Philippines, 51% represented incoming shipments and the rest outgoing.

Incoming cargoes dropped 38% to 112.044 million kg from 180.743 million kg in 2019, while outgoing cargoes decreased 44% to 106.763 million kg from 189.860 million kg.

Korean Air was followed by Taiwan-based carrier EVA Air, formerly in 10th place, with 20.445 million kg. EVA Air bumped Cathay Pacific down to third place as the Hong Kong flag carrier logged 20.221 million kg of cargo uplifted.

Qatar Airways remained in fourth place with 18.353 million kg while express operator United Parcel Service, which was previously in 14th place, came fifth with 16.914 million kg.

Jumping three ranks to sixth was Japan-based All Nippon Airways with 15.689 million kg, followed by logistics company Federal Express in seventh. Formerly in 13th place, US-based FedEx lifted 14.328 million kg last year.

Taiwan-based China Airlines last year handled 13.081 million kg, placing it three ranks higher to eighth place, bumping off flag carrier Japan Airlines, with 12.301 million kg to its credit, to ninth place.

Completing the top 10 airlines was Dubai-based Emirates with 10.753 million kg. The carrier was in fifth place in 2019.

Rounding off CAB’s list were Singapore Airlines (9.58 million kg); Etihad Airways (7.236 million kg); Air Hong Kong (6.283 million kg); Asiana Airlines (6.189 million kg); Malaysia Airlines (5.089 million kg); PAL (3.559 million kg); China Eastern Airlines (2.816 million kg); China Southern Airlines (2.727 million kg); Thai Airways (2.562 million kg); Saudi Arabia Airlines (2.517 million kg); Xiamen Airlines (1.765 million kg); Gulf Air (870,095.69 kg); KLM Royal Dutch (849,928.13 kg); Turkish Airlines (615,785.85 kg); Kuwait Airways (464,921.34 kg); Delta Airlines (381,527 kg); United Airlines (333,424 kg); Royal Brunei (295,070 kg); Jetstar Asia Airways (244,731 kg); Air Nuigini (66,467.47 kg); Cargolux (61,394 kg); El AL Israel Airlines (6,801.50 kg); and Air China (442.35 kg). – Roumina Pablo

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