The air cargo business, through its entire value chain, is an essential part of 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 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-fifth of A4E members have air cargo and mail activities, employing directly tens of thousands of people across the continent. Operations span over more than 360 destinations often served by multiple airlines and are carried-out by over 60 freighters and more than 1,600 passenger aircrafts transporting more than 5 million tons every year. As such, the air passenger business and air cargo business depend on one another; where the amount of cargo is not enough for a freighter service, it is transported in the belly of passenger aircrafts.

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


A4E policy brief