U.S. and international airlines are suspending flights to mainland China to try to contain the coronavirus. Delta, American and United airlines are suspending many flights until at least the end of March.
Fewer flights make personal and business travel nearly impossible — but there’s another big impact: cargo.
Depending on the plane, a flight can carry the equivalent of two semitrucks’ worth of cargo.
According to figures from the International Air Transport Association, cargo generates 9% of airline revenues globally — more than twice that of first-class tickets.
Jesse Cohen, an air cargo and freight transportation consultant, said for flights from China, that can sometimes be even higher.
Some of that money comes from businesses that sell perishable goods like food and flowers, which need rapid shipping.