Emirates SkyCargo to double capacity in next decade

Announces two new Boeing 747-F leases which add immediate capacity, signal confidence in global cargo market

Emirates SkyCargo to double capacity in next decade
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Emirates SkyCargo has added two Boeing 747-400Fs to its freighter fleet, showing its strong confidence in the global cargo market in a current environment of volatility.

"The cargo division of Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, is expecting 15 more freighters to join its fleet from announced orders and its freighter conversion programme, plus a boost in belly-hold capacity from new passenger aircraft deliveries starting with Airbus A350s in late summer 2024, followed by 777-Xs the year after," says an official release.

Over the next decade, Emirates SkyCargo expects to double its existing capacity, add over 20 new destinations to its freighter network, and offer even more flexibility and services to its customers with a fleet mix of over 300 wide-body aircraft comprising: 777s, 777-Fs, 747-Fs, A350s, and A380s, the release added.

"While the current market volatility may cause others to hesitate, Emirates SkyCargo is pushing full steam ahead with our plans," says Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo. "The medium- to long-term projections for global air cargo show an upward trajectory of between 3-5 percent. Combine that with Dubai’s strategy to double its foreign trade where multi-modal logistics will play a big role, and the economic activity happening in markets around the Gulf, West Asia, and Africa, and the opportunity for Emirates SkyCargo is clear.

"The two new 747-Fs which we have leased will give us immediate capacity while we wait for delivery of five new 777Fs in 2024 and 2025, and 10 777-300ERs to roll out of our conversion programme over the next five years. We believe even these additional planes will not be sufficient. By then, we’ll have the MRO set-up to quickly and efficiently scale-up our freighter conversion programme if we need to."

Secured on a long-term wet-lease basis, the two Boeing 747-Fs complement Emirates SkyCargo’s existing fleet of 11 Boeing 777 freighters, and are currently being deployed to Chicago three times weekly and to Hong Kong nine times weekly, the release added.

"The new aircraft mean we can expand our freighter network and amplify the connectivity with the main Emirates network," adds Sultan. "The new fleet mix also gives us more flexibility to serve our different customers even better. Emirates SkyCargo is also investing to develop new products, and to speed up digitisation and technology innovation. It is our ambition to lead the market in delivering specialist solutions that are fast, reliable, flexible, and efficient."

Emirates SkyCargo operates two state-of-the-art cargo terminals at its hub in Dubai, offering transit times of as little as three hours air-to-air. The terminals offer a total cargo capacity of around one million tonnes per year with the ability to raise this to 1.3 million tonnes, the release said.

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