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Family Aid 2020

   Vol. 19 No. 34
Wednesday April 22, 2020
If you have any words you’d like to share, any of your own playlists you’d like us to help distribute, or other content that has helped you navigate this difficult time, please share them with us. Air Cargo News FlyingTypers hopes to be like an online hearth for our cargo family. #AirCargoCoronaContent

Joan Baez and Bob Dylan

Today, April 22, 2020, marks the 70th Annual Earth Day
Most of the human beings on our planet are at home in the coronavirus lockdown. It’s the perfect time to take a pause in the daily occupation, to take a deep breath and consider all the warnings about global warming and the nasty outcome that may lie in store for all of us because of what we have done to negatively impact the planet.
  The reality of global warming always seemed a bit far away, as we went about recycling and changing light bulbs and taking other baby steps that environmentalists insist are not enough to prevent an ecological judgement day.   We’ve now discovered the fragility of the life we lead on this earth as we spend another day in total lockdown.
  If nothing else, everybody can connect to the planet right now.
COVID-19 hit first and hard in China.
  It was astonishing to see Hubei Province and its biggest city Wuhan—“The Pittsburgh of China”—shut down at the debut of the global pandemic.
Gradually, as days passed, as factories and auto emissions turned off and the skies above Wuhan cleared, the citizens of the planet were shocked to see the thick veil of soot and smog erased, revealing details of the region and city not seen in years.
  Some people have been thinking about the environment for a long time; long enough, in fact, to be remembered for their contribution and the words they said.
I recall in 1964 sitting in Forest Hills Stadium here in New York just before shipping off to Vietnam and listening to a concert starring folk singer Joan Baez.
  During that concert, she sang a song called “What Have They Done To The Rain?”
At the time, we did not think too much about that music . . . we like Joanie all right, but were frankly awe struck and paying attention to something new, as Joan introduced a young singer named Bob Dylan “as someone to watch.”
  So as those memories come forward, we celebrate the 70th Earth Day from our lockdown at home in Queens, New York, a bit more aware than ever that our life on this planet makes us all responsible. We are all facing the reality that we are hanging onto this world by a very thin string.
  Here is a link to our groundbreaking exclusive series that appears in FlyingTypers, created by Robert Arendal, titled: Election Time is Climate Time
Fuel Flights Realtime

Here you can see our realtime biofuel flights map. These flights are a modest first step in the right direction. The skies remain wide open for even more of these movements as the clock keeps ticking and our world keeps turning.

Virgin Opens China

     Virgin Atlantic Cargo has become the first British airline to resume scheduled services to China, operating three flights a week from Heathrow Airport to Shanghai.
     The cargo capacity on two of the thrice-weekly Boeing 787-9 flights from China will be used exclusively by the UK Department of Health and Social Care to increase deliveries of Personal Protective Equipment and medical supplies for front-line NHS staff.
     Virgin Atlantic has so far completed five flights from Shanghai for the NHS, with its Boeing 787-9 services having already delivered 80 tons of cargo consisting of 3.5 million items of personal protective equipment, including 50 ventilators, 1.8 million face masks, 600,000 face shields and visors, 1 million disposable gloves, 38,000 items for eye protection, and 75,000 protective coveralls and isolation gowns. Equipment is being dispatched immediately to doctors and nurses in hospitals across the UK to help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 virus.
Virgin thanks NHS

     The airline has been given permission to carry cargo on the aircraft’s passenger seats and in overhead lockers as well as in the cargo hold to maximize the payload of each flight.
     As well as providing urgently needed capacity to ship medical equipment to the UK, the Monday, Thursday, and Saturday departures from Heathrow will also provide a vital trade lifeline for British exporters and their freight forwarding partners on one of the country’s prime trade routes.
Dominic Kennedy      Dominic Kennedy, Managing Director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo, praised the ‘herculean effort’ of everyone involved in the resumption of the airline’s scheduled services to China, acknowledging the support of the Department of Health, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Civil Aviation Authority, and the British Embassy in Beijing.
     He added: “These are unprecedented times and we all want to play a part in supporting the NHS. We are proud to be part of the mission to get crucial medical supplies to the UK as fast as possible, which is the result of a fantastic team effort between the authorities and our colleagues right across the airline.
     “Resumption of services also means we can help our freight forwarder customers to re-establish supply chains to China, which will enable them and their customers to start getting back to business.”

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Umberto de Pretto
Truckers Need Help

It has been a month since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic.
     “Unilateral measures have been put in place by governments. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) global appeal is for immediate and concerted actions by governments and global organizations to stabilize mobility networks and ensure the continued flow of goods,” IRU Secretary General Umberto de Pretto said emphatically.

70 Years of Service

     IRU was founded 70 years ago in Geneva to help war-torn Europe rebuild devastated trade and commercial links.
     IRU began with an alliance of national passenger and freight road transport associations from eight European countries.
     Today IRU drives the road transport industry for its members on every continent in over 100 countries with 3.5 million companies operating in mobility and logistics, as well as regulators, thought leaders, and disruptors.

The IRU War Room Plan

     To help the road transport industry continue delivering the essentials, we suggest these are the actions that require immediate global coordination.

Harmonize Standards

     “There is a patchwork of individual national approaches to border operations.
     “The situation has somewhat stabilized in Europe at temporary borders inside the EU. The Balkans have extended their green lanes to all goods as well, which means better alignment with the EU. But the green lanes are only partially implemented at EU and non EU borders. And every morning in our task force meeting, we still see reports of hour long queues.
     “Turkey in particular has adopted discriminatory quarantine restrictions, China has been blocking incoming transport and the Middle Eastern borders face 24 hour crossing times.
      “We keep working closely with our members in each country on lobbying governments to ease restrictions and improve the flow of goods.
     “Countries need to keep their borders open, harmonize inspection and health procedures based on international standards, and put a stop to systematic controls that lead to goods being stuck in long queues,” Umbert de Pretto insists.

Focus Aid on SME’s

     “While we have secured small successes that have eased the flow of goods across the globe, much remains to be done in terms of support to financially struggling SMEs and to the drivers who courageously go to work every day. Some of the solutions are more complex and involve multilateral mechanisms to be put in place,” Mr. de Pretto declared.
     “Small- and medium-sized enterprises—often family run—are the backbone of road transport across the globe, moving goods and people and representing up to 90 percent of the industry,” Mr. de Pretto declared. These SMEs must receive financial aid in the first place, to avoid imminent bankruptcies and lasting economic impacts on supply and mobility chains.”

Handwriting on the Wall

     “With passenger transport companies reporting 80% business decline on average, globally, much is at stake.
     “China, India, and several U.S. states, have reduced or eliminated tolls on roads for motor carriers. This is the right thing to do, since all trucks on the road are resupplying depleted stocks. We would like to see more of this across the board.
     “Emergency financial aid programmes announced for impacted businesses to prevent bankruptcies have been announced by many countries, including the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, Japan, China. China has also put SMEs tasked with transporting essential goods and daily necessities as the top priority for financial aid.
     “In the EU, the Commission has issued state aid guidelines and Member States agreed on another 540 billion euro support fund to support the fight against COVID-19. Although mobility and logistics operators are not explicitly included in the emergency programmes, they should have priority access to funds as many of them, especially mobility operators, are on the verge of bankruptcy. Without our road transport companies, any economic recovery will be merely theoretical.
     “In the U.S., the first signs of recognizing road transport as essential come with the nomination of the American Trucking Associations (ATA)’s CEO Chris Spear to the White House Economic Revival Group. This is a great example, which we would like to see other governments follow."

On the Road Talk

     “We have been talking to drivers who are still on the road. Many of them say they are lucky because their employers increased health and safety standards, and provide them with protective equipment.
     “What is disheartening it to still hear so many of them say that access to a clean shower, toilet and to food, is still a problem. Because of a lack of regulation, gas stations, rest area restaurants and loading/unloading areas, have implemented arbitrary measures on safe distancing, opening and closing times and restricted access to their sanitary facilities.
     “This is contradictory to the viral statements about drivers being heroes. They truly, indisputably, are, and in exchange for being able to put food on our plates every day thanks to them, governments should put in place concrete measures to ensure they have access to the basics," Mr. de Pretto exclaimed.


Seeing Certain Progress

     “We are starting to see some effective measures at a regional and national level.
     “Together with the International Transport Forum (ITF), we have succeeded in obtaining extensions to the validity of the ECMT Certificate of Roadworthiness Test and the extension of validity of permits that have expired en route due to different administrative procedures in force, until the vehicles are able to complete the journey."


Time for Greatness

     “To defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and save our industry there needs to be strong and unequivocal leadership at a global level, by national governments, regional institutions, and international organizations, to drive a coordinated global response and international standards.
     “Governments must look beyond their individual interests and take a holistic approach under coordinated action from our global institutions,” added Mr. de Pretto.
     “This is a global crisis requiring global solutions,” he concluded.

La Bamba

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Vol. 19 No. 33
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Letter to the Editor
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Remembering James Hartigan, Sr.

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend • Editor Emeritus-Richard Malkin
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