May 02--Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of one of the largest airlines in the world, said its cargo fleet officially started operating from its new cargo terminal at Dubai World Central's Al Maktoum International Airport on Thursday after months of planning and testing.
The early morning arrival of an Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777 freighter from London Heathrow, carrying a full load of more than 100 tonnes of cargo, marked the official start of operations. Emirates SkyCargo, which carried 2.1 million tonnes of cargo across its network in 2012-13 financial year, said the load of cargo included vehicles, ship spares, pharmaceuticals, oilfield equipment and an aircraft engine, the airline said in a statement. Construction of phase one of the cargo terminal and supporting facilities began in July last year, and with its completion operations are now in full swing with 250 staff on site, Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said.
The new cargo terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art technology and will be able to handle 700,000 tonnes of cargo annually and have 500 staff when phase two, scheduled to be completed by September this year, comes into operation, he said.
The terminal has the potential for further expansion to reach one million tonnes.
"The start of operations at DWC today is a major milestone for Emirates SkyCargo. Our various teams, along with many of our partners and stakeholders, have been working very hard over the past few months to complete phase one of the project," Sultan said.
"We have also 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," he said.
He said the new facility would enable additional space and capacity required to manage the growth of the cargo business and have a dedicated, modern and efficient hub for our freighter operations, which contribute 35 per cent of Emirates SkyCargo's total revenue. 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.
Copyright 2014 - Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates