Emirates SkyCargo begins freighter operations at Dubai World Central

Emirates SkyCargo has announced that, after months of construction, planning and testing, Emirates SkyCargo’s freighter fleet has officially started operating from its new cargo terminal at Dubai World Central’s (DWC) Al Maktoum International Airport.

The official start of operations was marked by the arrival of an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 F from London Heathrow, UK, carrying a full load of more than 100 tonnes of cargo. The load included vehicles, ship spares, pharmaceuticals, oilfield equipment and an aircraft engine, some of which are for distribution in the UAE, while other cargo will be carried onward by Emirates passenger aircraft at Dubai International Airport to various markets around Emirates’ network, such as South Africa, China, India and South Korea.

To link the hub at DWC into the rest of Emirates’ network the airline will run dedicated trucking services between Al Maktoum International Airport and Dubai International Airport. The current trucking fleet numbers 47 and will be increased relative to future growth requirements.

Construction of phase one of the cargo terminal and supporting facilities began in July 2013, and with its completion operations are now in full swing with 250 staff on site. The terminal will be able to handle 700,000 tonnes of cargo annually and have 500 staff when phase two, scheduled to be completed by September 2014, begins operations. The terminal features a fully automated material handling system which has a Quick Dolly Transfer System that enables quick transfer of six unit load devices simultaneously.

“The start of operations at DWC today is a major milestone for Emirates SkyCargo. We have held numerous trials to test the readiness of every aspect of the facility and the movement of cargo between the DWC and Dubai International to ensure a smooth transition and enable us to meet our customers’ expectations,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

“This new facility gives us the additional space and capacity required to manage the growth of our cargo business and have a dedicated, modern and efficient hub for our freighter operations, which contribute 35% of Emirates SkyCargo’s total revenue,” he added.

Emirates SkyCargo currently has a fleet of 12 freighters, 10 Boeing 777 Fs and two Boeing 747-400 ERFs, which operate to more than 50 destinations around the world.

You can find out more about the impact of air freight hubs on logistics at Ti’s Emerging Market Conference in Dubai, 2014.