Cargo sector remains steady during COVID-19

The terminal building may be uncharacteristically quiet right now, but the air cargo sector at Winnipeg Richardson International Airport is busy keeping critical goods flowing to support the community.

Throughout this global crisis, from the early days up until now, the air cargo sector has been moving at a fast pace to keep up with demand. As many industries have temporarily slowed down their production processes, mirroring the ebb of the economy during this unprecedented time, some typical air cargo has been reduced. Even with this hurdle, other areas are making up for the decline, particularly in the movement of e-commerce products and essential goods, including medical supplies and personal protective equipment, to help protect frontline workers and the community.

“Our overnight cargo hub is more critical than ever as we move goods through here to points around the country, including the far North,” said Pascal Belanger, Chief Commercial Officer at Winnipeg Airports Authority.

In March of 2020, the airport saw a 4.4 per cent increase in the number of cargo planes landing in Winnipeg, compared to the same period in 2019. This translates into an average of 24 planes landing and departing each night at the airport, keeping the runways and delivery ramps active all evening long. Additionally, we are working with the entire supply chain to ensure that the movement of these critical goods during COVID-19 is not only helping keep the community well-supplied and safe but is also stimulating a part of the economy during these difficult times.

As different industries and businesses strive to remain open and service their customer base, the spike in e-commerce products indicates people are still buying goods and making online purchases from the comfort of their homes. The cargo sector is also playing a critical role in helping the air transportation sector generate some revenues during this pandemic as airports around the world remain at a standstill under strict travel advisories. The air cargo sector contributes more than eight per cent of revenues for Winnipeg Richardson International Airport, in addition to hundreds of valuable jobs with all stakeholders in the supply chain.

As we continue to serve our community in these difficult times, WAA is proud to work with the entire supply chain and air cargo carriers to keep this essential service flourishing for the benefit of the Manitoba and other regions across the country.