Emirates SkyCargo’s unflagging pursuit of excellence

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Optimisation of cargo capacity on flights

In a bid to further optimise cargo operations and capacity, Emirates SkyCargo has started loading cargo in the overhead bins and seats of its Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft from stations such as New Delhi and Tokyo.

With this move made in response to the growing customer demand out of key markets, Emirates SkyCargo would now be able to provide up to 24 tonnes of additional cargo capacity with complete loading of overhead bins and seats in its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

For the loading of cargo in the seats and overhead bins inside passenger cabin of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the air cargo carrier has developed a robust set of guidelines for its global teams on handling procedures and has also introduced a smart calculator application to help its employees around the world to calculate optimal loading capacity inside the passenger cabin of Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

“We took a measured approach to the loading of cargo inside the cabins of our Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft. Safety of our people and operations is the first priority for us and we had to therefore evaluate the demand from the market against potential risks to our operations. After a complete evaluation, we have now rolled out a detailed set of guidelines and procedures including strict rules on the kind of cargo that can be loaded inside the cabin,” Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo said.

“We will be operating more flights over the coming weeks with cargo in both the belly as well as inside the main cabin. In addition, we are also looking at other measures including the removal of seats from select aircraft to deploy on high demand trade lanes,” Sultan informed.

Calibrating global operations

With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is leading the global cargo industry during these critical times in delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world.

Recently, the air cargo carrier announced that with effect from the first week of May 2020, it commenced dedicated cargo flights weekly on a scheduled basis to 67 global destinations which include 22 destinations in Asia, 15 in Europe, 11 in the Middle East, seven in Africa, and six each in the US and Australasia.

Out of the 67 destinations, 58 are being served by Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft that offers a cargo capacity of around 40 tonnes while 24 cities by the Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-F aircraft which has the ability to uplift 100 tonnes of cargo per flight.

Emirates SkyCargo flew more than 1650 flights on its Boeing 777-300ER cargo-only passenger aircraft and also operated over 850 flights on its Boeing 777 freighters to over 80 destinations on scheduled and special charter services.

Since January 2020, the air cargo carrier has transported more than 375,000 tonnes of cargo on its flights.

“Over the last six to eight weeks, we have had to work innovatively and round the clock to move essential cargo to destinations where they were most needed. We started with just about a dozen cities served by our Boeing 777-300ER passenger freighters from the end of March, but within the space of a month we have scaled our operations to a point where we now have more than 65 destinations as part of our network and about 85 daily cargo flights,” Sultan commented.

Emirates SkyCargo witnessed an increasing demand for operating charter flights during the month of April. The carrier operated more than 170 charter flights over the period of just four weeks. A majority of charter flights were operated to transport relief materials.

In total, the carrier transported an estimated 10,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment, medical equipment, devices and pharmaceuticals during the month of April on its scheduled and charter flights.

“Our cargo operations continue to grow, as we see strong demand and every day we work to connect more points with our flights. Our operations support not just the immediate relief efforts, but in a distributed global economy, they also help keep businesses and trade running. And as Emirates, we would also be happy to support any immediate repatriation efforts and transport passengers on our cargo flights if we receive approvals from national authorities,” Sultan expressed.

In addition to medical supplies, Emirates SkyCargo is also facilitating the transport of perishables and fresh produce.

Between January and April 2020, Emirates SkyCargo flew more than 85,000 tonnes of food around the world, continuing on its mission to support local agriculture produce while ensuring that consumers can still access fruits, vegetables and other fresh produce in local stores.

Keeping Indian trade lanes open

The air cargo carrier is also energising and strengthening Indian supply chains by operating dedicated cargo flights on freighter and passenger aircraft, carrying essential goods and medical supplies.

During the month of April, Emirates SkyCargo carried over 1,500 tonnes of cargo between India and countries/regions worldwide, including the US, Europe, GCC, and the Far East. Majority of the shipments constituted pharmaceutical products and medical supplies while perishables including fruits, vegetables, and seafood formed the second major commodity, aiding local farmers and businesses.

Between Dubai and Hyderabad alone, Emirates SkyCargo transported around 300 tonnes of basic raw materials, pharmaceuticals, pharma APIs, and perishables such as seafood and fruits.

The cargo operator also recently set a new worldwide industry record uplifting 66.5 tonnes of cargo, including perishables, raw materials for sanitisers and soaps, and general cargo in the lower deck of a 777-300ER flight from Mumbai.

“Our highly specialised products – from Emirates Pharma to Emirates Fresh – have all been designed to maintain an unbroken cool chain for temperature-sensitive products and maintain the utmost integrity throughout our supply chain. By offering a diverse range of freight solutions, we are supporting communities and businesses in India and beyond and catering to their dynamic cargo requirements. Safety is always top of mind – and from sanitation tunnels in Dubai to personal safety measures for our employees and customers – we have it covered,” Abdulla Al Khallafi, Cargo Manager India and Nepal noted.

Emirates SkyCargo has scheduled services to eight cities in India- Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Hyderabad, and Thiruvananthapuram on its Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft.

At present, Emirates SkyCargo operates 14 cargo flights weekly to and from Mumbai, three cargo flights to and from Ahmedabad, Chennai, Kochi, and Thiruvananthapuram per week, and four cargo flights to and from Bengaluru and Delhi per week, in addition to operating daily flights to Hyderabad.

Since the start of the year, the carrier has facilitated exports of more than 4,000 tonnes of food from India, including fresh vegetables and fruits.

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