Dubai: As the coronavirus continues to spread across the world, flydubai said it is seeing “strong global demand” for cargo and is working on expanding its freight operations.
The budget carrier, whose passenger operations are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has operated 44 cargo flights, carrying 146 tonnes of cargo. Among those cargo operations are relief flights to countries including Egypt, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Azerbaijan, and Montenegro.
“We recognize that air cargo has an important role to play in supporting the continuity of the supply chain and the efforts at a government and a private sector level to ensure the movement of essential supplies especially during these unprecedented times,” said Hamad Obaidalla, chief commercial officer at flydubai.
The airline is deploying six Next Generation 737-800 jets to operate its cargo flights, and is even utilizing cargo hold capacity on some passenger aircraft. It said has also been working with authorities to increase its cargo capabilities by allowing cargo in the cabin to a number of destinations.
Mohamed Hassan, vice president of cargo operations at flydubai, said the carrier is “working towards expanding our operations beyond the flydubai network to enable more goods to be transported.”
Most passenger flights in the UAE are currently suspended in an attempt to limit the spread the virus, as is the case with many countries worldwide. Cargo operations are allowed to continue, however, to ensure the supply of goods. It is still unclear when more passenger operations will be allowed to resume.