Economy January 31, 2021 | 9:10 am

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Cargo flights increased 4.7% in 2020, despite the pandemic

Air operations with cargo from and to the different Dominican airports in 2020 totaled 4,993, an increase of 225 flights



Even though the coronavirus pandemic affected air operations with passengers to and from the different Dominican airports during 2020, cargo flights escaped.

Air cargo operations (flights in and out of the country) totaled 4,993 last year, representing an increase of 4.7% over the 4,768 recorded the previous year. The figure is equivalent to an increase of 225 flights, according to statistics from the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute (IDAC).

Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and the exchange of goods, cargo charter operations in the country grew by 13% in 2020, totaling 3,192, of which 1,604 were inbound flights 1,588 outbound.

Since last September, cargo charter flights had an upturn, registering 1,174 in the previous four months of the year, equivalent to 36.7% of total charter operations, according to the IDAC.

In mid-March last year, the Dominican Government closed the air borders through a state of emergency to prevent the contagion and spread of the coronavirus, although the measure excluded cargo operations.

However, scheduled cargo operations were down 7.2% last year, falling from 1,942 in 2019 to 1,801 in 2020, a net reduction of 141.

Las Americas International Airport alone was responsible for moving more than 15 million pounds of cargo in export and import between March and May. Of that amount, 9.5 million pounds were exports of various agricultural, technological, and textile products.

Passenger operations

Charter and scheduled passenger flight operations were the most impacted by the pandemic.

From registering 116,788 flights in and out of the country in 2019, the figure fell last year to 53,033, representing a reduction of 54.6%, equivalent to 63,755 fewer operations, according to data from the Dominican Civil Aviation Institute.

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