Allocating sufficient Unit Load Devices wherever and whenever needed to uplift air freight or accommodate the luggage of stranded tourists flying home on board of special charter flights has become a Herculean task in Covid-19 times. All the more since so intercontinental linehaul passenger services have come to a near standstill, greatly limiting the global distribution of ULDs.
Until now, more than 500 cargo and special flights have been carried out, bringing urgently required medication, breathing masks, protective clothing and similar items to countries hit hard by Covid-19 such as predominantly Italy, Spain or the UK, or ferrying stranded EU and Swiss citizens back home. A more than demanding task for ULD providers such as Jettainer, keeping its staff busy 24/7 in search of adequate provisions and finding suitable ways to best manage the supply of its equipment.
Corona evidences the paramount importance of air freight
This enormous pressure is confirmed by Thomas Sonntag, Managing Director of Jettainer GmbH:
"I would like to thank the entire team who have been working flat out for days to meet the high demand for providing suitable short-term solutions,” the executive emphasized.
“Particularly in emergency and crisis situations, air freight is of paramount importance. With our international network, we can provide the necessary loading equipment quickly and flexibly,” he exclaimed.
The timely allocation of ULDs has become a highly demanding job
A job that often is hard enough because many of the ad-hoc flights are operated to destinations not served by any of Jettainer’s mandate airlines, namely Etihad, American Airlines, Lufthansa, Oman Air, Swiss, or Air Astana. Which means that Jettainer has to find ways of ensuring that the appropriate ULDs are on site once a charter flight is due to run. A demanding job, which is currently often determined by short-term planning and ad-hoc changes. The ULD provider closely coordinates with the task forces set up for the purpose of fine-tuning all ULD flows to ensure the availability of loading equipment required on short notice in the right place at the right time.
The company points out that, in addition to containers, its service also runs to providing pallet stacks and nets to secure cargo on passenger decks, enabling aircraft to accommodate shipments in the cabins of passenger aircraft which are temporarily stripped of their seats, flying as freighters.
JettLease has proven its operational necessity
According to its management, the company’s global leasing policy for urgent requirements has proven to be extremely helpful in situations such as the current one. This ‘JettLease’ product provides customers with units at stations located outside of their regular network, giving them quick access to ULD stocks in areas where they would normally not require them.
Especially in China, particularly in Shanghai, demand for JettLease equipment hire has recently increased significantly, Jettainer confirms. The unforeseeable ULD need comes as reaction to the growing number of charter flights, predominantly transporting much needed sanitary and medical equipment or humanitarian items from the Far East to the West.
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