Russian sanctions squeeze air cargo capacity

Date Added: 2 March 2022

Russian sanctions squeeze air cargo capacity

With a strong presence in the expedited airfreight business through our subsidiary, Davies Turner Air Cargo, we note media reports that the sanctions that have banned all aircraft owned, registered or controlled by Russians is, according to IATA, eliminating the ability for Russian airlines to operate in Europe, or to take direct routes to North or South America heading west.

It comes at a time when IATA says that the air cargo market continues to operate at a 10% capacity deficit because of reduced passenger flights due to COVID, with global rates up 2.5 to 3 times above pre-pandemic levels, although a 26% increase in freighter capacity during the past year helped offset a 38% gap in passenger belly space.

Now that aircraft from several Russian airlines including Volga-Dnepr and Air Bridge Carrier, major global freighter operators, will be mostly unavailable to companies in North America, Europe and potentially areas of South America, it could increase upward pressure on market rates.

This is a crucial time for the industry where every cubic metre of capacity is needed, and with the impact of longer flight times as different areas of airspace become closed or prohibitions implemented, capacity will suffer.

As the UK’s highest placed independent freight forwarder in the latest IATA/CASS league table for 2020, measured by CASS airline tonnage, Davies Turner Air Cargo welcomes enquiries about our global airfreight services. Just contact or visit

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