Emirates SkyCargo announces 2009 expansion plan

24 / 02 / 2009

EMIRATES SkyCargo has unveiled plans to grow the number of flights across its network by 14 per cent in 2009, increasing cargo capacity by 17 per cent.

In the next 12 months, the carrier will take delivery of two new Boeing 777 freighters. 

They will have a maximum payload of 103 metric tonnes. In addition, 18 new wide-bodied passenger aircraft will be added to the Emirates fleet to increase frequencies and capacity on existing routes.

Emirates currently has a fleet of 129 wide-bodied aircraft, including eight freighters. By the end of the 2008/09 financial year (ending 31 March 2009), that figure will stand at 132, including one Boeing 777 freighter. 

The carrier will welcome another 777f in the 2009/10 fiscal year.

Ram Menen, Emirates divisional senior vice president cargo, says: "The last two years have not been easy for the air cargo industry, but we hope to see some stability return in the coming months. For Emirates SkyCargo, 2009 will be a year of consolidation.

"We will bolster our presence in markets where we have a greater demand from our customers, such as China and Africa."

Emirates SkyCargo recently commenced a weekly Boeing 747-400f flight to Lagos. A second daily passenger service to the Nigerian capital, with 18 tonnes of bellyhold cargo capacity, was started on 1 February.

It will also introduce services from Dubai to Durban, South Africa on 1 October 2009. The route will be served by an Airbus A330-200, which can carry up to 14 tonnes of cargo into the port city.

In recent months, Emirates SkyCargo has also increased capacity from its Dubai hub to India to more than 2,500 tonnes a week. 

As new aircraft come online, the weekly cargo capacity will increase by approximately 10 per cent to Europe; four per cent to Australia; 17 per cent to the Middle East, 15 per cent to Africa; and eight per cent to the US when the thrice weekly services to Los Angeles and San Francisco go daily from May.

In total, the additional capacity will see more than 700 tonnes of cargo capacity added to the Emirates fleet.

Emirates SkyCargo directly serves 101 cities in 61 countries on six continents. In February 2008 cargo operations were moved to the custom designed Cargo Mega Terminal, a fully automated facility that has a 43,000m² processing area (including 6,000 m² for temperature-sensitive cargo), 10,000 warehouse pallet positions, 2,400 ULD storage locations, modern handling equipment and systems.

The facility has an annual throughput capacity of 1.2m tonnes.