Cargo, one of the least glamorous aspects of flying, is proving a rare ray of light for airlines amid the coronavirus gloom.
The grounding of passenger planes at a time of increased demand for everything from medical supplies to iPhones has boosted freight rates. With much of the world’s population house-bound and shopping online instead of hitting the malls, analysts see no let-up in demand, particularly as the peak year-end holiday season approaches.
“Airfreight is going to be a bright spot for carriers at least for this year because while borders are closed that doesn’t mean people aren’t buying,” said Um Kyung-a, an airline analyst at Shinyoung Securities in Seoul, South Korea. “That trend is likely to continue as cargo capacity remains limited.”
The sort of goods moving along this global conveyor belt 30,000 feet in the sky also track the pandemic’s unfurling. Masks and gloves have given way to