March 23, 2020: Saudi Airlines Cargo Company (Saudia Cargo) has taken proactive steps to ensure the continuity of all cargo and supply operations and the arrival of necessary goods and products including medical equipment, medicine, and foodstuffs, said CEO Omar bin Talal Hariri. This move follows the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) appeal to the governments to exclude air cargo operations from any Covid-19-related travel restrictions, to ensure life-saving medical products to be transported without disruption.

The steps even come in line with the official decisions, which excluded all-cargo operations from the suspension imposed on other business activities as part of the precautionary measures the Kingdom has taken to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.

"We have high-level coordination with all related parties as per the recommended precautionary measures the Saudi health authorities have taken, which permitted the cargo operations and the flow of goods to run uninterrupted," Hariri explained.

All cargo flights to Europe will continue through Frankfurt and Lige stations in addition to Dhaka station. Work at these stations is run as scheduled in order to mitigate the impact of the imposed suspension aiming to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The decision suspending passenger flights as a preventive measure has made the Saudia Cargo operate a number of additional cargo flights to Dubai and other destinations because all cargo operations on passenger aircraft came to a complete halt.

"The Saudia Cargo staff work around the clock as part of the company's national responsibility and regional role in enhancing logistics during these circumstances which the whole world is going through," he said.

He stressed that Saudia Cargo always acts based on the official decisions, instructions, and directives so that it can ensure alignment between meeting the humanitarian needs and protecting the public safety. Cargo flights will continue to operate on a humanitarian and commercial basis and cover certain key commercial and safe ports and cargo stations around the world.

Running March 29 to October 28, Etihad Cargo's freighter network will also be expanded to capacity-constrained markets that are wrestling with decreased passenger operations or temporary travel bans in light of the public health emergency caused by the novel Covid-19.

In addition, Lufthansa Cargo is currently examining the possibility of using passenger aircraft as pure cargo aircraft in order to further increase cargo capacity.

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