Glyn Hughes, IATA Global Head of Cargo
for nearly the past six years has stabilized that position by being likeable,
knowledgeable and someone you can talk to on a wide variety of subjects
and come away impressed.
That is no small feat as IATA Cargo, with
a big diverse and at times divided membership, has gone through several
years of change at the top.
But along came Glyn, who had served in other
positions at IATA for years, ready, willing and able to hit the mark and
move air cargo into the 21st century.
You may not always agree with what IATA
might do or declare, but you never have to doubt that Glyn cares about
our business, takes the long view, and listens.
Here in a brief break from the current whirlwind
of the global pandemic from hell, Glyn shares some thoughts from home
in Lausanne, Switzerland.
is your thought as air cargo around the world has taken grasp of the situation?
the words of Sir Winston Churchill, “never was so much owed by so
many to so few.” All over the world, front line medical workers
put their personal health on the line every day they turn up to a hospital
or clinic to treat the sick and infected and the way the air cargo industry
has rallied to support those health workers deserves equal merit. Whilst
most of us have been confined to the safety of the home working environment
these past 6 weeks or so, freight forwarders, truckers, ground handlers,
customs officers, together with airline flight and dispatch crews have
been on the front line transporting much needed medical equipment, supplies
and medicines wherever in the world they are needed. They are all heroes.
They represent the best of this industry, coming together to put the needs
of others above their own.
have you seen, read, or were impressed by in this time?
men and women of this industry stand out for their impressive dedication
and commitment to the vital role played by them and this industry. But
I should also say that the innovative way the airlines have mobilized
their grounded passenger fleets for cargo only operations has also been
very impressive. Employing new safety risk assessments, operational processes
and in some cases installing new global networks in such a short time
frame has been remarkable.
do you think (hope) air cargo will look like in September 2020?
think we have a roller coaster ahead of us for a while. Sadly we can anticipate
the need for medical supplies to be present for the next few months as
Covid-19 continues to impact various communities around the globe. As
the social isolation and lockdown policies will remain in place for a
while, we can also expect ecommerce transactions to continue as they have
these past months providing a unique connection for people to purchase
much needed items during this difficult period. We can also expect that
once society returns to a more integrated situation and factories slowly
reopen, air cargo will be vital for restocking and supporting production
lines, moving components and finished goods.
Unfortunately we can also anticipate that at some point this year the
economic contraction will result in slowed activity and workers who have
had employment impacted will focus on replenishing savings drawn upon
during the lockdown.
This may have a detrimental effect on consumer behavior later in the year.