Emirates turns pax A380 into 50-tonne uplift ‘freighter’

Emirates SkyCargo has introduced a first A380 ‘mini-freighter’ for select charter operations in response to a surge in demand for capacity required for the transportation of life-saving goods.

The first A380 charter service has already successfully airlifted medical supplies between Seoul and Amsterdam, via Dubai.

Working with its engineering and flight operations teams, the UAE airline plans to further optimise the capacity availability of the big, long-haul passenger aircraft – which can carry up to 50 tonnes of freight per flight in its belly-hold – with additional measures such as strapping shipments to passenger cabin seats.

More cargo flights utilising the A380 passenger aircraft are planned for this month, says a statement. In the meantime, SkyCargo is continuing to operate its fleet of dedicated cargo flights utilising its B777 freighter aircraft, supplemented by 14 modified B777-300ER passenger aircraft which have had their economy class seats replaced by cargo shipments.

Last month, the Middle East carrier, which is currently offering airfreight capacity on scheduled flights to 135 destinations across is network, claimed to have created in Dubai the world’s first dedicated airside air cargo facility for the special handling of COVID-19 vaccines.

The freight airline has re-opened its SkyCentral DWC cargo terminal at Dubai South, a renewed facility which now boasts a 4,000-sq m-storage area for temperature-controlled pharma shipments.

 

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Rebecca Morpeth Spayne,
Editor, International Trade Magazine

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