Over the next year, the Dubai, UAE-based carrier will be taking delivery of two Boeing 777 freighters, the largest twin-engine aircraft in the world. There will be additions of new wide-body passenger aircraft to the Emirates fleet that will help to boost SkyCargo to increase frequencies and capacity on many existing routes.
Emirates is seeking to increase its presence in markets where demand has grown, particularly in China and Africa. This expansion runs strongly against the economic currents buffeting the air cargo industry. “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,” says Ram Menen, divisional senior vice president Cargo for the airline. “For Emirates SkyCargo, 2009 will be a year of consolidation.”
Moves that Emirates has undertaken of late to more greatly serve customers in Asia and Africa include a weekly freighter flight to Lagos, Nigeria, followed by a second daily passenger service that offers 18 tonnes of belly cargo capacity. In October of this year Emirates will launch a Dubai to Durban, South Africa service. The carrier has also increased Dubai to India capacity by 2,500 tonnes per week.
Further capacity growth will come for Emirates SkyCargo as newer aircraft are added to its fleet. Plans are to have increases in capacity of 10% to Europe, 4% to Australia, 17% to the Middle East, 15% to Africa and 8% to the US.