The air cargo business, through its entire value chain, is an essential contributor to European prosperity. By facilitating the fast, reliable and secure movement of goods across borders, air cargo sustains seamless supply chains and contributes to the development of economic networks which no other form of transport can provide. For certain shipments, air cargo is the only solution – it allows for time-sensitive and high-value goods to arrive faster to their destination. Time to market matters, in particular when it comes to just in time logistics, life-saving pharmaceuticals and perishable goods that businesses and consumers rely on.

Four-fifths of A4E members have air cargo and mail activities, directly employing tens of thousands of people across the continent. Operations span over 360 destinations which are often served by multiple airlines. In total, more than 60 freighters and 1,600 passenger aircraft transport some 5 million tons of freight every year. As such, the air passenger and air cargo businesses depend on one another; where the amount of cargo is not enough for a freighter service, it is transported in the belly of a passenger aircraft.

Steady globalisation has secured sustainable demand for air cargo, with Europe sitting at the intersection of global trade. In 2018, the value of goods carried by air globally is expected to exceed $6 trillion. In the context of ever-growing demand for air cargo in Europe and abroad, it is therefore essential that measures be taken to preserve and enhance the efficiency and competitiveness of the sector to the benefit of European consumers and businesses alike.



Transport of two Panda bears from China to the Berlin Zoo


A Call for Action for European Air Cargo

A4E policy brief