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Emirates SkyCargo will keep adding capacity and new destinations. A major fleet expansion program is underway. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Emirates SkyCargo has brought in two Boeing 747-400Fs to its freighter fleet, as the Dubai carrier starts on the path to doubling its existing capacity in the next 10 years.

On a long-term wet-lease basis, the two Boeings complement Emirates SkyCargo’s existing fleet of 11 777 freighters, and are currently being deployed to Chicago three times weekly, and to Hong Kong nine times weekly.

The cargo division of Emirates should have 15 more freighters join the fleet from announced orders and its freighter conversion program. Plus, there will be a boost in belly-hold capacity from new passenger aircraft deliveries starting with Airbus A350s arriving in late summer 2024, followed by Boeing 777-Xs a year after.

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"The two 747-Fs which we have leased will give us immediate capacity, while we wait for delivery of 5 new 777Fs in 2024 and 2025, and 10 777-300ERs to roll out of our conversion program over the next 5 years," said Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice-President, Emirates SkyCargo. "

"We believe even these additional planes will not be sufficient. By then, we’ll have the MRO set-up to quickly and efficiently scale-up our freighter conversion program if we needed to."

New destinations

Apart from doubling capacity, there will be 20 new destinations added to the freighter network, and with a fleet mix of over 300 wide-body aircraft comprising 777s, 777-Fs, 747-Fs, A350s, and A380s.

"While the current market volatility may cause others to hesitate, Emirates SkyCargo is pushing full steam ahead with our plans. The medium to long term projections for global air cargo show an upward trajectory of between 3-5 per cent.

"Combine that Dubai’s strategy to double its foreign trade where multi-modal logistics will play a big role, and the economic activity happening in markets around the Gulf, West Asia, and Africa, and the opportunity for Emirates SkyCargo is clear."

Last week, Emirates SkyCargo launched a new ad campaign, showcasing how ‘The World Works Better with Emirates SkyCargo'. Through every-day scenarios, the advert demonstrates how essential its logistics business is to connect people and products all around the world, whether that is through life-saving healthcare, fresh fruit, flowers, pets, or valuables.