Ahead of Africa’s biggest flower season, there is a major doubt about whether there will be enough air freight capacity to carry the flowers from the continent to Europe. Interestingly, while Covid-19 vaccines are looking to take up most of the capacities, the stakeholders are prepared and are ready to transport them successfully because of careful planning.
It is that time of the year when the air freight industry is buzzing about getting ready to transport flowers from Africa to Europe. However, this is unlike any other year in the recent past because of the Covid-19 pandemic and this time around many cargo carriers not only have the necessity to allocate their resources but also the responsibility to help the world and vaccine manufacturers to combat the pandemic. It is a difficult time for them to make the most of the season but flowers have always held a special place in the lives of people and always manage to bring joy to all. Ahead of Valentine’s Day and the upcoming season, the sector is driven by an increasing demand and so cargo carriers are looking to do their best so that they are able to transport flowers across the world in the fastest way possible.
With the global intensity of the pandemic, it has caused some disruption in operations, especially for Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, who are instrumental in bringing the flowers to Europe through the Netherlands. Eric Mauroux, global head Perishables Logistics, AFKLMP Cargo, talking about the current state of affairs says, “We have experienced disruption in some of our operations due to the Covid-19 crisis. However, the capacities available to carry perishables out of Africa have been relatively spared compared to other parts of the world because most of them are operated by freighters.” For example, he says that 80 percent of the capacity the cargo carrier offers in Kenya comes from their cargo fleet, which has been operating normally throughout the crisis. This stems from the fact that the Franco-Dutch airline had made the strategic decision to dedicate most of their freighter capacity operated out of Amsterdam to the Kenya, Colombia and Ecuador flower markets.