LATAM Airlines and Qatar Airways are reorganizing their networks to prioritize cargo, especially medical supplies.
LATAM, which is based in Chile, said April 13 it is adding a seventh freighter frequency between South America and Europe to help compensate for the lack of available passenger aircraft with cargo space. LATAM has increased capacity on this route by 40% since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and the contraction of passenger travel.
Amsterdam is now LATAM’s primary port of entry in Europe. The inbound flights will be especially beneficial to perishables exporters in Chile, Peru, Guatemala and Brazil. The return flight will originate in Frankfurt, Germany, and carry medical equipment and supplies, electronics, auto parts and other cargo, LATAM Cargo said.
LATAM recently increased freighter frequencies between North and South America too, including three more flights to and from Miami for a total of 26 weekly frequencies.
LATAM Cargo has 11 Boeing 767-300 freighers in its fleet.
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways Cargo announced it is operating an air bridge between China and France to deliver humanitarian aid for the pandemic response. The turnaround operation on behalf of the French government has a stream of dedicated Boeing 777 freighters flying from Guangzhou and Shanghai to France. The planes are carrying surgical masks, respiratory machines, bottles of sanitizer and disposable hospital gowns.
Qatar Airways operated numerous cargo charters to multiple countries in Europe last month. It is also operating daily freight-only passenger flights to six destinations in China and six cities in India.