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Eight decades on, still the fastest to Singapore

[ December 4, 2013   //   ]

IAG Cargo celebrated 80 years of flying freight to Singapore – the first regular service by its ancestor, Imperial Airways landed there on 9 December, 1933. The arguments for using freight remain just as pertinent as when the brochure was published, even though in those days the journey to Singapore took 10 days – compared to just 12hrs 55mins today – and involved four different aircraft as well as a leg by train. Before landing in Singapore, the cargo made stops in eight different countries including Egypt, Palestine and India.

The final leg of the journey saw cargo being delivered into Singapore by the Armstrong Whitworth ‘Atalanta’ class aircraft, which could carry a maximum weight of 9,525kg and had a range of 400 miles. Today the route is serviced by IAG Cargo’s Boeing 777-300, which has a take-off weight of 351,500kg, a range of 9,125 miles and a cruising speed of 560mph.

But despite the best efforts of IATA and the airline industry to electronicise manifests and airwaybills, the paper document is still the rule rather than the exception.

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