COVID-19 Impact: Air Transportation

BDP Airfreight

BDP International offers a comprehensive range of airfreight products leveraging a network of over 143 offices and strategic air gateway locations to support our customers to deliver what matters, safely. As a global leader in high care cargo, such as dangerous goods and pharmaceuticals, we understand how to manage time-critical complex flows. 

In this site, you will find everything you need to know about the airline industry’s shift towards normalized flight schedules, stabilized capacity, and other happenings. 

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Air Transportation Updates 

Recent industry updates:

Week of September 21, 2020

Delta: will resume flights from Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport to Amsterdam next month.

Week of September 14, 2020

British Airways: Increasing flights from Heathrow to Lahore from 12 October.

Week of September 7, 2020

Delta: Introducing additional flights from New York (JFK) to Barcelona (BCN), Madrid (MAD), and Rome (FCO).  Also additional flights from Boston (BOS) to London (LHR). 

Week of August 31, 2020

IAG Cargo: Cargo divisions of British Airways and Iberian have added Nairobi and Johannesburg as network destinations. It is also resuming flights to and from Abuja, Accra, Cairo, and Lagos. 

Virgin Atlantic: Virgin Atlantic Cargo is set to operate flights between the UK and Pakistan from December this year, operating three new routes: London Heathrow to Lahore; London Heathrow to Islamabad; and Manchester to Islamabad. 

Week of August 24, 2020

New Zealand: Government extends COVID-19 lockdown in Auckland through August 30.

Air Canada: Relaunching passenger flights to Sao Paulo (GRU) next week.  Also promoting capacity to Paris (CDG), Delhi India (DEL), Brussels (BRU) and Zurich (ZRH). 

Week of August 17, 2020

New Zealand: Air New Zealand restricting operations as a result of extended lockdown in Auckland.

Emirates: Increasing Dubai-Sao Paulo route from 24 August.

Delta: Resuming flights between LAX and Haneda, Japan.  Also JFK-Madrid, Boston-London, and JFK-Rome. 

Ethiad: Increasing capacity from North America with additional departures from New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD), Toronto (YYZ) and Washington DC (IAD). 

Week of August 10, 2020

Emirates: Set to resume flights to Birmingham, Cebu, Houston and other cities in U.S.

Week of August 3, 2020

Ethiad: Announced a restart to North America network with IAD flights starting August 7th and an increase in capacity as ORD, JFK and YYZ all increase their frequencies this week. 

Polar: Introducing new nonstops to NRT and ICN.  In addition to direct Tue/Wed/Thu/Fri ORD-JFK-ICN-HKG, Polar is offering ORD-ICN Day 7 and ORD-NRT Day 1. 

Swiss: Chicago to Zurich frequency increase from 3 to 5 days per week as of 01st August. In addition, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia open as of 01st August.

Week of July 27, 2020

Polar: Introducing new Freighter on Day 7 (Sunday) operating ORD-ICN-HKG.

Delta: Adding new widebody flights to their network for the month of August, including ATL-DUB, ATL-MUC, JFK-LHR, JFK-MXP, ATL-HND, LAX-HND. 

AFKL: Adding a 3rd frequency from IAD to AMS beginning in August, and JFK to CDG will become daily starting August 3. 

Egypt Air: Introducing new freighter service Day 3 from JFK to CAI.

Lufthansa: Announcing additional belly capacity from Lufthansa Group Airlines. Austrian Airlines (OS) and Brussels Airlines (SN) are ramping up capacity from several key US markets: OS has resumed service from ORD, EWR, and IAD to VIE. And on August 31, SN will resume direct service from JFK to BRU. 

Beyond Europe, SN resumes service to its extensive network in Africa throughout August. OS offers additional capacity to Bangkok with its direct VIE-BKK service starting August 1. 


Week of July 20, 2020

KLM: Announcing the resumption of Amsterdam to Shanghai services.

Week of July 13, 2020

Ethiad: Announcing the launch of mini-freighter from Abu Dhabi (AUH) to Dammam (DMM).

Air France/KLM: Announcing BOS to AMS and CDG 3x per week each.  AMS on days 3,4,7 and CDG on days 1,4,6. 

Week of July 6, 2020

Air France/KLM: Increasing network with additional flights:  BOS-CDG, more JFK to CDG, MIA-CDG, IAH-AMS, SFO to AMS and CDG. 

Air Canada: Adding more cargo capacity to and from Europe in June and July in addition to the network of cargo-only flights on international routes.   

Ethiad: Announced the return of YYZ-AUH flight, as of July 6th 2020, on a weekly basis. The flights will operate 2x weekly. 

IAG Cargo (British Airways and Iberian): Announced new cargo-only routes MAD-EZE starts 03 July. 

Ethiad: Increasing capacity from North America with a 3rd ORD Freighter (Effective 11 July, 2020), and 3x weekly passenger operations from ORD, JFK and YYZ (Effective 13 July, 2020).

KLM: Restarting service from Washington Dulles to Amsterdam 2x per week on days 5 and 7. 

Week of June 29, 2020

United Airlines: Continuing cargo-only flight from USA to: TLV, GRU, SCL, BOM, DEL, GUM, HKG, ICN, NRT, PEK, PVG, SIN, TPE, AMS, BRU, DUB, FCO, FRA, LHR, ZRH. 

Delta: Will add almost 1,000 flights system-wide in July, boosting service and nonstop connectivity to popular summer destinations and major business markets, including USA to BOM, FRA, LHR, AMS, CDG, ATH, TLV, ICN, HND, PVG. 

TAP Portugal: Direct flights MIA to GRU. 

Singapore Airlines: Continue with twice-weekly full-turn freighters from DFW serving Europe, India, UAE, SIN/Asia,  SoPac. 

Ethiad: Effective this week, the JFK-AUH passenger flight will resume 1x weekly operation, departing JFK on D4, operated by our 787 Aircraft allowing for an additional 20T of capacity. Ethiad will also have 6 additional freighter rotations from LCK to LGG and AUH starting Thursday, July 2nd, providing a further 100T of capacity. 

Week of June 22, 2020

Delta Air Lines: Resuming flights between U.S. and China on 25 June.

South Africa: Still no flights into Durban, the only option is via JNB with trucking to Durban.

American Airlines: Highlights of July widebody schedule:  10 weekly flights from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to Tokyo Haneda (HND) and Tokyo Narita (NRT), and 7 weekly flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to HND.  Three-times weekly service from DFW to Dublin (DUB).  Twice-weekly flights from Philadelphia (PHL) to Rome (FCO), Frankfurt (FRA) and Milan (MXP).  Daily domestic service between LAX and Miami (MIA).  Twice-weekly service between MIA and Buenos Aires (EZE). 

Iberia: Will be restarting flights to and from Madrid to Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Panama, Uruguay and a few select US destinations and are now open for bookings. Buenos Aires will be coming into cargo-only schedule from the beginning of July alongside existing rotations to Colombia, Peru and Mexico – all also to and from Madrid. 

El Al: In addition to JFK to TLV, also accepting shipments to HKG, BJS, BOM, IST for connection through TLV. 

SAS Cargo: Increasing to five weekly service from Chicago and New York to Copenhagen with scheduled trucks to MMX, GOT, ARN, OSL.   

Cargolux: Starting July 7, will reinstate service to Johannesburg and Nairobi.

Week of June 15, 2020

IAG Cargo: British Airways re-introducing PAX flights from Houston to London 3x per week on days 3, 5, 7. 

Air France / KLM: Additional passenger flights begin service ORD to CDG, additional flights BOS to AMS and CDG, additional JFK to CDG, additional ATL to AMS, additional IAH to AMS. 

Ethiad: Increasing network through hub of Abu Dhabi to destinations throughout Europe (FRA, AMS, CDG, LHR, MXP), Asia Pacific (HAN, PVG, HKG, SIN), Africa (NBO, JNB) and Gulf region (RUH). 

United Airlines: In addition to current service from the U.S. to Asia, Australia, Europe, India, Latin America and the Middle East, United is now offering cargo-only flights to key international markets including Dublin, Paris, Rome, Santiago and Zurich.  

Swiss WorldCargo: Further enhances routes from Zurich to Tel Aviv, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi with additional flights. These destinations are added to a network currently serving Zurich to:  Chicago, New York, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Dubai, Johannesburg, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore, Tokyo. 

Week of June 8, 2020

United Airlines: Expanding service to Dublin, Paris (CDG), Rome (FCO), and Zurich.  United has already announced expansion of service to Amsterdam (AMS), Brussels (BRU), Frankfurt (FRA). And London (LHR). 

Air France / KLM: Expanding service from Paris (CDG) and Amsterdam (AMS) to various locations in the Caribbean and Latin America.  Paris to/from St Martin, Panama City.  Amsterdam to Paramaribo, Aruba, St. Martin, and Quito.  Also resuming Paris to Johannesburg. 

Week of June 1, 2020

India: We are closely monitoring Cyclone Nisarga as it makes expected landfall near Nhava Sheva and bracing for impact on airport operations.

Singapore Airlines: Reinstating flights for some destinations in June and July - Adelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Barcelona, Brisbane, Cebu, Christchurch, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Medan, Melbourne and Osaka.

Week of May 25, 2020

Air France/KLM/Delta: The combined JV network will be expanding service in the following lanes:  Chicago to London, Chicago to Amsterdam, JFK to Bombay, JFK to Amsterdam, Atlanta to Frankfurt, Houston to Amsterdam, LAX to Frankfurt, LAX to Amsterdam. 

United: Expanding service to Santiago, Chile and Sao Paulo (GRU) Brazil.   

Delta: Resuming flights between Latin America and USA with flights connecting Atlanta, Miami, and Santiago, Chile. 

South Africa: Durban airport remains closed, all cargo is routed via Johannesburg and trucked to Durban.

Week of May 18, 2020

Emirates: Beginning service USA to Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Oslo.

IAG Cargo (BA/IB): Now accepting express bookings from London to Bombay, India.   

Ethiad: Increasing capacity from JFK and ORD to AUH. 

United: Adding cargo-only capacity from San Francisco (SFO) to Incheon, Singapore, and Taipei. 

Delta: Increasing Transatlantic service by adding capacity Los Angeles – Frankfurt, Chicago – London, New York – Bombay.

Week of May 11, 2020

South Africa: Cape Town and Durban Intl Airports remain closed, cargo-only moving via OR Tambo Intl, Johannesburg and then on-carriage arranged via truck to CPT/DBN. The cargo section at ORT is heavily congested as ground handlers are only 50% operational. Special essential service registration required to obtain release of cargo at airport.

Week of May 4, 2020

American Airlines: Will be offering 126 flights per week from the USA to worldwide destinations including Shanghai, Sydney, Madrid, Paris, London, Rome, Zurich, San Juan. 

British Airways: Will resume flying from July at 50 percent capacity.   

Week of April 27, 2020

Swiss Cargo: Operating an additional 100+ Cargo-only flights from Zurich to destinations including Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Chicago, Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore. 

ANA: Adding additional flight capacity to Tokyo with cargo-only passenger flights. 

Virgin: Introducing JFK and LAX flights to Dublin. 

Ethiad: Introducing freighter Service Chicago-Frankfurt-Abu Dhabi. 

Week of April 20, 2020

TAP Portugal: Re-introducing Chicago to Lisbon all-cargo flight beginning Monday, April 27. 

Air Canada: Increasing frequency to Tokyo to 4 x per week.  Also serving Europe with 30 flights per week.  Daily flights to Frankfurt and London. 

Virgin Atlantic: Resumes China cargo service with 3x weekly departures from London to Shanghai. 

TAP Portugal: Suspending North America operations through May 17. 

Air Canada: Air Canada suspends all flights to the U.S. through 22 May after the extension of the border closure.

Singapore: Announces additional extension of 'circuit-breaker' through June 1. Ports and airports still operational.

April 16, 2020

Air Canada: Expanding service to Shanghai to now 7 days per week from Toronto. 

Delta: Beginning this week, Delta’s scheduled cargo operation will increase to daily service with the addition of flights from Los Angeles. The flights will operate daily to and from Shanghai, with a stop in Incheon. Detroit-Incheon-Shanghai service will operate four times weekly, and Los Angeles-Incheon-Shanghai will operate three times weekly. 

April 15, 2020

United Airlines: Promoting “freight only flights” to many destinations in the EU, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London, Shanghai, Dublin, Brussels, Sydney, Hong Kong. 

Delta Airlines: Offering Cargo flights to Amsterdam, Incheon, Tokyo. 

Cargolux: Effective immediately, Cargolux will be imposing a complete embargo from the USA and USA territories on the certain PPE commodities. The only exception to the embargo which would allow Cargolux to accept or transport a shipment containing the “covered materials”, is a FEMA authorization for the shipment. This authorization would need to be provided by the shipper/freight forwarder at time of booking.  

April 14, 2020

Air Canada: Space available now for Frankfurt, Paris, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

India: Lockdown extended until May 3, airports and CFS are exempted from lockdown however operating with limited resources for cargo flight loading and offloading at the terminals. Cargo movement in and out of terminals/CFS are operating with limited resources. Primarily these are focused on essential goods.

April 9, 2020

Lufthansa: Cancelling freighter to Johannesburg and Nairobi. 

American Airlines: Will be adding more cargo-only flights to network, DFW to Frankfurt, DFW to Dublin, DFW to Hong Kong, JFK to London.

April 6, 2020

Qatar: Now offering Freighter service 2x per week to Australia, MEL and PER. 

American Airlines: Confirming daily flight operating from DFW to London, 3x per week DFW to Tokyo. 

Delta: Suspending service between ATL and London, as well as JFK-London. Final flight scheduled to depart London on April 6. 

April 3, 2020

Air Canada: Now offering cargo-only capacity from Toronto to Shanghai. 

Singapore Airlines: Now offering limited lower deck capacity for cargo, connecting SIN with various locations:  Americas (LAX), AUSNZ (SYD, MEL, PER), Intra Asia (ICN, NRT, BJS, PVG, TPE, HKG), and Southeast Asia (KUL, HAN, SGN, JKT, MNL, BKK)

Lufthansa: Now accepting bookings to Bombay, India. 

April 2, 2020

United Airlines: Now offering service direct cargo-only to Shanghai from Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

Cargolux: Has removed for time being following destinations from their flight schedule: ABJ/ACC/ASB/BKO/BQN/BZV/CAI/DLA/FBM/FIH/JNB/LOS/NBO/NDJ/OUA/PHC/SCL/UIO (South Africa/Africa and Latam destinations).

April 1, 2020

Australia / New Zealand: Airlines canceling allocations and bookings into AUSNZ due to severe freight backlog. Other airlines have canceled all PAX service.


The situation is rapidly evolving. Airlines and countries are releasing new alerts and regulations daily. For a full running list of industry updates, please click here.

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