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Tue, 23 March 2021

Emirates SkyCargo Marks One Year of Passenger Freighter Operations

(23 Mar 2021) Since Emirates SkyCargo started operating cargo only flights on passenger aircraft, the airline has since operated more than 27,800 such flights in just the first year.

Coming just four days after COVID19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation, EK 2503 was the first flight in Emirates history of operations to fly a cargo only flight on a passenger aircraft, delivering about 34 tonnes of bellyhold cargo that was urgently required from Dubai to Kuwait on 16 March 2020.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo said, It has been exactly one year since what was considered impossible in the air cargo industry became not just a reality but a strong operational pillar for Emirates SkyCargo. Prior to the pandemic, nearly two thirds of our total cargo was transported in the bellyhold of our passenger flights. With increasing flight suspensions and restrictions on passenger travel imposed due to COVID19 in early March 2020, we could foresee a situation where there would no longer be adequate cargo capacity available in the market to transport essential supplies.

Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777F reg: A6-EFF. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Our passenger freighter strategy has been the backbone of our operations during the pandemic transporting cargo to more than 125 destinations across six continents. It has showcased our resilience as a global facilitator of trade and supply chains. With resumption and growth in passenger operations, we have started gradually moving towards our traditional model but our passenger freighters continue to remain a strong component of the COVID19 pandemic response.

To meet the global demand for transport of PPE and essential supplies, Emirates SkyCargo followed up on the introduction of passenger freighter services with further innovations including the loading of cargo on passenger seats and in overhead bins inside the passenger cabin and introducing mini freighters which were Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with seats removed from Economy Class to make more room for transporting cargo. Emirates SkyCargo currently has 16 Boeing 777-300ER mini-freighters for cargo operations.

Emirates SkyCargo has operated more than 27,800 cargo only flights on passenger aircraft during the last year. Those flights have helped transport more than 100,000 tonnes of essential supplies including PPE, COVID19 testing kits, ventilators, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and food. This is the equivalent of cargo carried over 1000 full flights on the Boeing 777 freighter aircraft.

Emirates SkyCargos flights helped maintain food security in a number of import reliant markets while also providing an income stream to communities dependent on agricultural exports. The carrier also operated a record number of charter flights using passenger aircraft exclusively to transport cargo.

Emirates SkyCargo has set up a dedicated GDP certified airside hub in Dubai for COVID19 vaccines and has also partnered with leading Dubai based entities and with UNICEF for the rapid transport of COVID19 vaccines to developing nations through Dubai. Emirates SkyCargos passenger freighters have also played a key role in the transport of COVID19 vaccines.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: COVID19, Emirates, SkyCargo, Cargo, Freight.

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