Emirates continues cargo services where “borders remain open”

Despite cutting the majority of its passenger flights due to low demand caused by the coronavirus, Emirates is continuing to run cargo and passenger services to a select number of countries “until further notice — as long as borders remain open” and there is demand.

Emirates will continue its operations in: the UK, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia, South Africa, USA, and Canada. However, the carrier has explained that while “the situation remains dynamic”, its customers can check updates and flight statuses on emirates.com.

The carrier has also unveiled a new schedule of cargo-only flights on its Boeing 777 passenger aircraft, offering up to 40 tonnes of lower deck cargo capacity per flight. These flights will supplement cargo capacity already being offered on Emirates’ scheduled freighter services.

Emirates also stated that its ground-handling subsidiary, dnata, is temporarily closing some of its offices because of a dip in demand caused by the reduction in flights over the past few months.

Emirates chairman and chief executive, HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum,  commented: “The world has literally gone into quarantine due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This is an unprecedented crisis situation in terms of breadth and scale: geographically, as well as from a health, social, and economic standpoint.

“Until January 2020, the Emirates Group was doing well against our current financial year targets. But COVID-19 has brought all that to a sudden and painful halt over the past 6 weeks.

“As a global network airline, we find ourselves in a situation where we cannot viably operate passenger services until countries re-open their borders and travel confidence returns. 

“By March 25, although we will still operate cargo flights which remain busy, Emirates will have temporarily suspended most of its passenger operations.

“We continue to watch the situation closely and as soon as things allow, we will reinstate our services.”

Between mid-January and mid-March 2020, Emirates SkyCargo transported more than 225,000 tonnes of cargo — out of which 55,000 tonnes were food items including fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood, and more than 13,000 tonnes were pharmaceutical cargo.

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