Emirates Offers Additional Cargo Capacity on Aircraft with Modified Economy Class Cabins

10:25:20 AM | 1/7/2020

Emirates has introduced additional cargo capacity by using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with seats removed from the Economy Class cabin. The measure has been introduced in response to the strong air cargo market demand for the rapid, reliable and efficient transportation of essential commodities such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, food, machinery and other supplies around the world.

Emirates SkyCargo will be operating 10 Boeing 777-300ER 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 of the widebody passenger aircraft. The modified Boeing 777-300ER aircraft are being deployed on routes to key production and consumer markets where Emirates SkyCargo sees maximum demand for movement of urgently required goods.

The modification of the Economy Class cabins of the 10 Emirates Boeing 777-300ER is being executed at the state of the art Emirates Engineering facilities in Dubai with each aircraft requiring close to 640 man-hours of work for the modification. Engineers remove 305 Economy Seats from one aircraft, fixing safety equipment and implementing regular load bearing tests during the process. Seven aircrafts have already been modified by the Emirates Engineering team, with three more aircraft due to be ready by mid-July 2020.

Ahmed Safa, Divisional Senior Vice President Emirates Engineering 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."

By the end of the project, the Emirates Engineering team would have removed 3,050 seats, which will be safely and hygienically stored away till the time the aircraft are required for passenger services. The seats will be fitted back into the aircraft and tested for passenger safety and comfort.

Duong Cao, Emirates SkyCargo Manager in Hanoi, Vietnam, said: “We are the first international carrier at Noi Bai International Airport who operated a cargo flight by using a modified aircraft cabin with passenger seats removed. On the 25th of June, we successfully executed two flights with cargo loaded on the floor of the passenger cabin.

We now operate 10 weekly flights to Hanoi and 4 weekly flights to Ho Chi Minh City on passenger freighters and have grown our cargo network to connect more than 85 destinations. Whether via scheduled cargo services or charter services when required by our customers, we are ready to meet the global demand for cargo services and movement of goods. By continuously innovating our products and services to improve speed and efficiency, we are facilitating the transport of urgently required medical supplies such as personal protective equipment as well as supporting import and export activities that will strengthen the global and local economy impacted by the epidemic.”

With its focus on safety of operations, Emirates SkyCargo has implemented strict rules on the type of cargo that can be loaded inside the modified Economy Class cabins. Some of the cargo 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. Cargo loaded in the passenger cabins would need to be packaged inside a suitable external container such as a plastic or cardboard box in accordance with the latest regulations outlined by IATA.

Emirates SkyCargo is the freight division of Emirates. The air cargo carrier operates a combination of scheduled and chartered flights to more than 85 global destinations every week. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo has been acting as a global conveyor belt connecting markets across the world to supplies of essential commodities including PPE, pharmaceuticals, food and other perishables, e-commerce goods as well as machinery and other equipment.

Emirates Engineering ensures that Emirates’ wide-body fleet of more than 260 aircrafts are maintained in peak condition. The team is conducting regular parking checks on the grounded aircraft and scheduled A-checks, C-checks and operational maintenance on the flying fleet serving a mix of cargo and an increasing number of passenger destinations

D.A (Vietnam Business Forum)