Dubai: Etihad airways on Wednesday said it was already seeing peak demand for air freight prior to the Suez Canal incident. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier will convert a fifth 777-300ER to cargo in cabin configuration.
“As a result of current demand, all wide-body assets are highly utilized - Etihad is constantly looking for opportunities to add capacity,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement. Etihad is currently “engaged in large-scale cargo projects to carry goods traditionally moved by sea,” the statement added.
“The demand is partially as a result of the lower supply of belly capacity on the market compared to pre-COVID19, and also due to shortages in supply on the sea freight side,” said the spokesperson.
The airline said it was “too early” to see the direct impact of the Suez Canal situation on its air freight operations. The movement of goods between Asia and Europe was hit when a ship was stranded in the sea waterway, which is responsible for 12 per cent of global trade.
“The customers we are working with on the above projects are now revising their uplift strategies to factor in this new development,” the spokesperson added.