Sustainability, digitalisation & safety 3 priorities for air cargo.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has highlighted three priorities – sustainability, digitalisation and safety — to enable the air cargo industry to wrest momentum against the backdrop of a trying operating environment. 

The priorities were outlined at the 16th World Cargo Symposium (WCS), which opened in Istanbul.

“Air cargo is a different industry than the one that entered the pandemic. Revenues are greater than they were pre-pandemic. Yields are higher. The world learned how critical supply chains are. And the contribution of air cargo to the bottom line of airlines is more evident than ever. Yet, we are still linked to the business cycle and global events. So, the war in Ukraine, uncertainty over where critical economic factors like interest rates, exchange rates and jobs growth are concerns that are real to the industry today. 

“As we navigate the current situation, air cargo’s priorities have not changed, we need to continue to focus on sustainability, digitalisation, and safety,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo. 


Sustainability is a critical priority and the aviation industry’s license to do business. Last October, at the 41st ICAO Assembly, governments agreed to the Long-Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with the industry’s commitment adopted in 2021.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is critical to achieving this goal, 65% of carbon abatement will come from SAF, however, production levels remain challenging. IATA called for government incentives for production.

“SAF is being produced. And every single drop is being used. The problem is that the quantities are small. The solution is government policy incentives. Through incentivising production, we could see 30 billion liters of SAF available by 2030. That will still be far from where we need to be. But it would be a clear tipping point towards our net zero ambition of ample SAF quantities at affordable prices,” said Sullivan.

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