14:24 | 01/07/2020 Companies
Emirates has introduced additional cargo capacity by using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with seats removed from the economy class cabin. The measure has been introduced in response to the strong air cargo market demand for the rapid, reliable and efficient transportation of essential commodities such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, food, machinery and other supplies around the world.
Emirates SkyCargo will be operating 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with economy class seats removed allowing for up to 17 tonnes or 132 cubic metres of additional cargo capacity per flight on top of the 40-50 tonne cargo capacity in the belly hold of the widebody passenger aircraft. 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.
The modification of the economy class cabins of the 10 Emirates Boeing 777-300ER is being executed at the state of the art Emirates Engineering facilities in Dubai with each aircraft requiring close to 640 man-hours of work for the modification. Engineers remove 305 economy seats from one aircraft, fixing safety equipment and implementing regular load bearing tests during the process. Seven aircrafts have already been modified by the Emirates Engineering team, with three more aircraft due to be ready by mid-July 2020.
Duong Cao, Emirates SkyCargo Manager in Hanoi, Vietnam, said: “We are the first international carrier at Noi Bai International Airport who operated a cargo flight by using a modified aircraft cabin with passenger seats removed. On the 25th of June, we successfully executed two flights with cargo loaded on the floor of the passenger cabin. We now operate 10 weekly flights to Hanoi and 4 weekly flights to Ho Chi Minh City on passenger freighters and have grown our cargo network to connect more than 85 destinations. By continuously innovating our products and services to improve speed and efficiency, we are facilitating the transport of urgently required medical supplies such as personal protective equipment as well as supporting import and export activities that will strengthen the global and local economy impacted by the epidemic”.
With its focus on safety of operations, Emirates SkyCargo has implemented strict rules on the type of cargo that can be loaded inside the modified economy class cabins. Some of the cargo commodities that can be loaded include general cargo such as PPE and garments, pharmaceuticals that can be maintained within a temperature range of 15 and 25 degrees Celsius and perishables such as cut flowers, and select dry and non-smelling fruits and vegetables. Cargo loaded in the passenger cabins would need to be packaged inside a suitable external container such as a plastic or cardboard box in accordance with the latest regulations outlined by IATA.