HARARE – Emirates freight division, Emirates SkyCargo, has announced the launch of a dedicated freighter flight to Harare International Airport.
The scheduled cargo-only Boeing 777 aircraft will arrive from Dubai every Friday and the flight will continue to Johannesburg before returning to Dubai.
The SkyCargo airplane will have capacity to carry 103 tonnes of freight, adding to the existing weekly cargo capacity of 160 tonnes on Emirates’ scheduled five-time-a-week passenger service.
“Supporting the thriving trade between Africa and the rest of the world, SkyCargo’s weekly cargo capacity into and out of the continent is already more than 6 000 tonnes since the launch of the airline’s passenger service to Harare and Lusaka on February 1.”
Emirates said the launch of the Harare flight by Emirates SkyCargo will allow it to connect businesses in 22 countries across Africa to its network of more than 100 destinations, while also providing increased opportunities for key trading partners such as China and Japan.
“South Africa — with a weekly capacity of more than 1 500 tonnes spread across the belly-hold of 84 passenger flights serving Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, as well as two dedicated Johannesburg freighters — is Emirates SkyCargo’s key trading point on the continent.”
The airline also operates dedicated freighters to Eldoret and Lilongwe, while the other points on Emirates SkyCargo’s African network — Abidjan, Addis Ababa, Accra, Cairo, Casablanca, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Entebbe, Khartoum, Lagos, Luanda, Nairobi, Tripoli, and Tunisia — are served using either the belly-hold of wide-body passenger aircraft, or a combination of the belly-hold and freighters.
“With such a comprehensive service now in place we are in a good position to help sustain Africa’s continued economic development by facilitating international trade with its business partners and opening it up to new markets on our ever-expanding network,” said Ram Menen, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president cargo.
Emirates SkyCargo transports commodities such as garments, computer parts and pharmaceuticals to Zimbabwe — from the likes of the Far East, Australasia, the Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Europe and North America.
Fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables will be among the main commodities shipped in the other direction, while trade is also expected to be generated by neighbouring countries.
Emirates SkyCargo is the freight division of Emirates and serves 22 destinations in Africa. Reflecting Emirates’ overall policy of excellence in every area of operation, Emirates SkyCargo’s investment in highly-qualified staff, the very latest information technology, the most efficient aircraft and the finest ground-handling facilities, has made it a significant force in the global air cargo industry.
In the 2010-11 financial year, Emirates SkyCargo carried 1,8 million tonnes of cargo across its network, contributing 17,4 percent — $ 2,4 billion — of the airline’s total transport revenue.
Based out of Dubai International Airport, its $327 million 43 600 square metre Cargo Mega Terminal is designed to handle 1,2 million tonnes of cargo a year.
Emirates’ 168-strong fleet — including eight freighters (three Boeing 747-400Fs, two 747-400ERFs and three 777Fs) — is one of the youngest in the skies.
Following the launch of the Lusaka/Harare service, Emirates SkyCargo now serves a global route network that spans 120 points in 72 countries, including 11 cargo-only destinations, while more than 50 of the locations Emirates SkyCargo serves are e-freight compliant.