Air, Feature, Freight News

Emirates creates DIY freighter

[ June 25, 2020   //   ]

Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo is operating ten of its Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft with economy class seats removed allowing for up to 17 tonnes or 132 cubic metres of additional cargo capacity per flight on top of the 40-50 tonne cargo capacity in the belly hold. The modified planes are being deployed on routes to key production and consumer markets where the carrier expects maximum cargo demand.

The modification is being executed at Emirates Engineering facilities in Dubai; the process takes about 640 man-hours. As well as removal of the 305 seats, it involves fixing safety equipment and implementing regular load bearing tests during the process. Seven aircraft have already been modified with three more aircraft due to be ready by mid-July 2020.

The 3,050 removed seats will be safely and hygienically stored pending a revival in the passenger market.

Divisional senior vice president Emirates Engineering, Ahmed Safa, said: “Converting our passenger aircraft to these mini freighters is certainly a sign of the times. Our teams have shown resilience, an innovative spirit, and adapted quickly to the needs of the changing business environment. We have risen to the twin challenges of new procedures and safety protocols within set timelines, and we are extremely proud of what we have achieved.”

Emirates SkyCargo has implemented strict rules on the type of cargo that can be loaded inside the modified passenger cabins. Commodities that can be loaded include general cargo such as PPE and garments, pharmaceuticals that can be maintained within a temperature range of 15 and 25 degrees Celsius and perishables such as cut flowers, and select dry and non-smelling fruits and vegetables. They also need to be packaged inside a suitable external container such as a plastic or cardboard box in accordance with IATA regulations.

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