International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Secretary General, Dr Fang Liu, this week highlighted the key role of air transport in meeting the demanding e-commerce expectations of modern consumers.

Speaking in Beijing at the World Customs Organization’s (WCO’s) First Global Conference on Cross-Border E-Commerce, Dr Liu said that almost 90% of business-to-consumer (B2C) global e-commerce transactions are delivered by air, and that commercial aircraft are the only shipping mode available which can satisfy the expectations of modern consumers for many same-day or next-day deliveries.

The UN agency leader also noted the “revolution” now taking place as aviation integrates new unmanned aircraft, both large and small, into the global airspace.

Plan ahead

However, Dr Liu added that the overall preparedness of countries and regions, whether in terms of levels of ICAO compliance or their infrastructure capacity and airport multimodal connectivity, would be a key factor in their ability to leverage growing e-commerce operations to their full economic benefit.


“This explains why governments must have comprehensive aviation and airport development planning in place, and how important it is for those air transport priorities to be strategically integrated into States’ overall national and urban development objectives,”

By Dr Fang Liu, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Secretary General