Pandemic forces air cargo group to postpone September conference
The strong recovery in domestic travel to the United States this summer increasingly looks like an outlier rather than a sign that airline bookings will continue unabated.
Global airlines – and by default the air cargo industry that piggybacks on passenger flights – could face a more difficult recovery from the COVID pandemic than originally thought. After a robust summer season for US domestic carriers, the delta variant is making people more reluctant to travel by air and could limit travel in the fall, especially among business people.
On Monday, the International Air Cargo Association announced that it was postponing its scheduled executive summit from September 21 to 24 in San Francisco. The co-organizer of the event, Messe München, has also discontinued the Transport Logistics Americas Forum.
The announcement follows news last week that the New York Auto Show scheduled for later this month has been canceled.
“The recent announcement by the US administration of the current travel ban for people arriving from the UK, EU, China, India, South Africa, Brazil and others [countries] will not be lifted for the foreseeable future, which means that it is impossible to accommodate all the delegates who have expressed an interest in attending. This is very disappointing news as recent indications showed that the ban should be lifted soon, ”organizers said.
The rise of the delta variant has also led more and more countries, especially in Asia, to tighten border controls.
The mutant COVID strain required more on-site restrictions that would have limited the value of the event, TIACA and Messe München said. The conference was reportedly the first in two years after last year’s event was canceled due to COVID.
Co-located events have been rescheduled for March 22-25.
“We are confident that the revised dates will provide enough additional time for more people to get vaccinated and tackle the current rise in infections,” the groups said.
Meanwhile, Cargo Networks Services, the U.S. division of the International Air Transport Association, is moving forward with its partnership conference scheduled for August 29-31 in Miami. The main difference is that the vast majority of attendees are from the United States, while TIACA attracts a much larger international audience.
The IATA World Cargo Symposium, scheduled for October 12-14 in Istanbul, is still on track.
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