The Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency has allowed airlines to transport cargo on passenger planes. The move aims at speeding up the transport of inputs and equipment to hospitals and health professionals working in the anti-Covid-19 effort, such as medicines, respirators, and coronavirus testing kits.
Currently, about 120 companies are certified to provide air taxi services. The Infrastructure Ministry is using them to distribute the first 500,000 Covid-19 quick test kits across the country. This first batch was donated by mining company Vale, and arrived on Monday evening at São Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport.
The move also helps aviation companies to reduce costs and make extra revenue. As chart portal Statista shows, the Covid-19 crisis has led to an unprecedented drop in global air traffic amid government-imposed travel restrictions and airlines reducing or ceasing flight operations. According to flight-tracking website Flightradar24, commercial air traffic shrunk 41 percent below 2019 levels in the last two weeks of March.