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Govt launches key steps to stabilize air freight capacity,March 30, 2020 Adjust font size:

Civil Aviation authority has taken multiple measures to stabilize the international air cargo capacity during the novel coronavirus pandemic to guarantee the international supply chain of anti-epidemic materials,said a senior official with the Civil Aviation Administration on Sunday.

To increase the air freight capacity, the administration has set aside slots in rush hours at several large airports for use by all freighters, opened a "green channel" for the approval of cargo flight plans, and encouraged domestic and foreign airlines to carry out overtime chartered flights for cargo, said Zhang Qing with the administration's development and planning department, at a news conference in Beijing.

Domestic airlines are encouraged to use idle passenger jets to carry out cargo flights and take the initiative to contact foreign trade enterprises and understand their demands for transportation, so that they could arrange chartered flights to cope with possible surges in transportation demands, Zhang said.

The administration will continue to reduce the cost of aviation logistics, she said. In addition to last year's measures such as cutting the parking fee for cargo-only aircraft and the ground service fee for cargo and mails, the administration has introduced another 16 steps in five areas this year, including waiving the civil aviation development fund and reducing air traffic control fees.

Zhang noted that China's international air cargo has encountered severe challenges due to the pandemic. But the shortage of China's international air cargo capacity has been alleviated to some extent, thanks to the epidemic control and the measures taken recently.

The number of international cargo flights of Chinese and foreign airlines will be increased to 930 per week soon, close to the pre-epidemic level, said Zhang.

As of March 26, Chinese airlines had carried out 23 international flights that transported a total of 406 metric tons of anti-epidemic materials, she said.