Emirates SkyCargo’s move to DWC
Tell us about how the DWC move will create further opportunities for Emirates SkyCargo? It’s a blessing for us with the DWC move. It has given us additional capacity to process our cargo. The current facility at DXB has been quite congested with Emirates growth in terms of passenger, belly and the freighter. So this move has definitely given us breathing time to move our cargo over there and process it. From May 1 we will also have the runway closure at the Dubai Airport, which could have had severe impact on our freighter operations. Now that we will move just before the runway closure, will give us the assurance that we are able to sustain our operations and connectivity without any problems. What is the progress made so far with the facilities? We have received the first phase of the operations of the facility. We expect the second phase to be operational and handed over to us somewhere around July or August this year. And by October, we will have the complete facility at our disposal. But the main part of the facility has been already handed over which is the cool chain area. I must say that the perishables area is definitely state of the art facility in terms of effective cool chain and temperature control. What opportunity does the move offer to your shippers? We have communicated very clearly to our shippers what are the latest cut-off times for delivery and even additional times available for them to get their cargo to the final destination. In a few months, probably, when the operations are stabilised we will start accepting and delivering cargo from DWC. Currently we are only operating for perishables items. But hopefully by June or July, once the whole operation is stabilised, we will probably do the general cargo acceptance and delivery as well. So with that in place we will be offering the local market multiple options of clearing and delivering their shipments. How will you ensure effective transit time between the DWC and Dubai Airport? A lot of work has been done to ensure that we have virtual connectivity between the two airports. Of course, we have already established a bonded trucking that will take place on a semi-dedicated road connecting both the airports. And again, with the number of trucks that we have, it will help us build this virtual corridor between the two airports. With this kind of connection we will be really able to move cargo within 90 minutes from one airport to another. We recently did a test flight and we managed to get the connection from DWC to Dubai Airport almost within 45 minutes, which I think is quite efficient.