Turkish Cargo posts growth in pandemic year, plays vital role in transporting Covid vaccine worldwide

Turkish Airlines subsidiary Turkish Cargo has continued to grow in 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic has seen many airlines grounded and revenues for the aviation sector plummet. Despite this challenging backdrop, Turkish Cargo’s revenue, market share and market volume are all up on 2019 figures.

According to World Air Cargo Data (WACD), Turkish Cargo claimed 5.3% of the global income market share during the first 11 months of 2020, up from 4.6% at the start of 2020.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) data shows Turkish Cargo’s global market volume is also up by 0.4% to 4.7% for January-October 2020, bucking the sector trend, which has seen global market volume down by over a fifth, or 20.8%, in the same period.

The details were provided by Chairman of Turkish Airlines İlker Aycı, in an exclusive interview with the Anadolu Agency. He said Turkish Cargo’s global market share had increased from 3.9% in 2019 to 4.7% by October 2020, while their air freight operations have also expanded from 88 to 96 destinations in the same period.

Turkish Cargo in world’s top 10 air freight carriers

“With this development, we rose to sixth place in 2020, up from eighth in January-October 2019,” said Mr Aycı.

The figures place Turkey’s national air cargo carrier among the best performers in the world, aided by its geostrategic location and investment in making Istanbul a global air hub.

It is ranked in the world’s top ten largest air cargo carriers, alongside Federal Express (FedEx), Qatar Airways Cargo, and United Parcel Service (UPS), which make up the top three.

İlker Aycı, chairman of Turkish Airlines


According to Air Cargo News, Turkish Cargo reported the highest growth rate of the top 10 freight carriers in 2019. IATA data showed traffic increased by 19.3% year-on-year to just over 7 billion cargo tonne kilometres (air freight is measured in metric tons times kilometres travelled).

Throughout the pandemic, Turkish Cargo has operated non-stop to help maintain the global supply chain transporting food, relief supplies, masks, medical equipment, and medicines to a host of destinations worldwide.

Turkish Cargo delivering of 7.5% world vaccines and medicines

Responding to global demands, Turkish Cargo transported 30,000 tons of medicines and nearly 10,000 tons of medical equipment between 1 February and 31 August 2020.

Turkish Cargo is currently playing an important role in the rapid delivery of coronavirus vaccines around the world. The Turkish freight carrier has 7.5% share of the world vaccine and medicine delivery market, and its international network means Turkey can obtain the vaccine quickly for domestic use too.

“If we want, we can bring the vaccines [that Turkey needs] within a few days, thanks to our fleet of 363 aircraft and our cold storage units at Ataturk Airport, which have a capacity of 150 aircraft pallets,” he explained.

“We can handle 20-30 million doses of vaccine in one day at our facility at Ataturk Airport and deliver it to those in need,” he added.