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Dubai’s Emirates offers additional cargo capacity with aircraft modification

Dubai’s Emirates offers additional cargo capacity with aircraft modification

The modified Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are being deployed on routes to key production and consumer markets

Dubai carrier Emirates has introduced additional cargo capacity in its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft by scrapping seats from its Economy Class cabin, it announced on June 25.

The measure follows strong air cargo market demand for reliable and efficient transportation of essential commodities such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, food, machinery and other supplies globally.

The airline’s freight division, Emirates SkyCargo, will be operating 10 modified Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, allowing for up to 17 tonnes or 132 cubic metres of additional cargo capacity per flight in addition to 40-50 tonne cargo capacity in its belly hold.

The modified Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are being deployed on routes to key production and consumer markets where Emirates SkyCargo sees maximum demand for movement of urgently required goods.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, cargo said: “Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo has taken very seriously its responsibility of connecting people and businesses across the world with the commodities that they urgently require. To this end, we have been working flat out, first to re-connect a global network of more than 85 destinations and then to introduce capacity options that fit what our customers demand from us including passenger aircraft flying only with belly hold cargo and loading cargo in the overhead bins and on passenger seats. Now, with the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with modified Economy Class cabins, we will be able to transport even more cargo per flight, allowing for more cargo to reach their destination faster and for more efficient cargo operations.”

The modifications are being conducted at Emirates engineering facilities in Dubai with each aircraft requiring close to 640 man-hours of work. Engineers remove 305 Economy Seats from one aircraft, fixing safety equipment and implementing regular load bearing tests during the process.

Seven aircraft have already been modified by the Emirates engineering team, with three more aircraft due to be ready by mid-July 2020.

Ahmed Safa, Divisional senior vice president, Emirates Engineering said: “Converting our passenger aircraft to these mini freighters is certainly a sign of the times. Our teams have shown resilience, an innovative spirit, and adapted quickly to the needs of the changing business environment. We have risen to the twin challenges of new procedures and safety protocols within set timelines, and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved.”

Emirates SkyCargo has implemented strict rules on the type of cargo that can be loaded inside the modified Economy Class cabins. General cargo such as PPE and garments, pharmaceuticals that can be maintained within a temperature range of 15-25 degrees Celsius and perishables such as cut flowers, and select dry and non-smelling fruits and vegetables, are permitted.

Emirates, which currently connects Dubai to 40 cities, plans to restart flying Airbus SE A380 superjumbos to London and Paris from next month.

Read: Emirates to resume flying A380 superjumbos to London, Paris

Also read: Next few weeks to be a ‘big test’ for aviation industry – Emirates’ Sheikh Ahmed

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