Mirroring the growth of its passenger counterpart, Emirates SkyCargo, the air freight division of the Gulf airline, has announced major expansion plans for the coming decade.
The Dubai-based carrier expects the global air freight market to grow by 3 to 5% over the medium to long term and it is particularly bullish on the increasing demand from those regions of the world where Emirates has already a strong presence, such as the Gulf, West Asia, and Africa.
To capitalize on this opportunity Emirates SkyCargo is planning to double its capacity and add twenty new destinations to its freight network.
In addition to the already significant capacity available in the belly of the A350s, A380s and B777s that make up Emirates passenger-carrying fleet, Emirates SkyCargo has also a fleet of 11 Boeing 777F freighter aircraft.
This dedicated freighter fleet is going to be expanded significantly by another 15 cargo aircraft the airline has on order, namely 5 A350Fs and 10 B777-XF which will progressively enter service from 2024.
To meet the expected increase in demand, Emirates SkyCargo has secured the lease of two additional Boeing 747-400F planes, adding to its capacity ahead of programmed arrivals.
But even these two additional aircraft and the 15 others in the backlog may not suffice to respond to long term market demand, therefore Emirates SkyCargo is already planning further ahead:
“The 2 new 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.”