EMIRATES SkyCargo has signed agreements with Airbus and EADS EFW for the purchase of three Airbus A310-300s and their conversion to freighters, respectively.
The converted aircraft are cause for triple celebrations. These will be the first Airbus freighters in Emirates’ fleet, and also the first ones owned by the airline.
The A310-300Fs are expected to enter Emirates’ fleet from the middle of next year – one in July 2005 and the other two in January 2006. The wide-bodied freighters will have a payload capacity of 39 tonnes of cargo, offering excellent performance capabilities and fuel efficiency.
Ram Menen, Emirates’ senior vice-president Cargo, said: “This is a landmark order for Emirates SkyCargo. We intend to use the aircraft on key regional routes and high-density cargo markets in the Middle East and African region, the Indian subcontinent, and the Mediterranean region. The new aircraft will provide flexibility and more capacity to our customers; help us rationalize payloads and service key markets better with quicker turnarounds; and enhance Dubai’s role as a regional cargo hub.”
The aircraft will be equipped with Auxiliary Centre Tanks to increase their range, enabling one-stop operations from Dubai to the US and countries in the South Pacific.
Horst Emker, president and CEO of EADS EFW said: “We are very pleased to welcome Emirates SkyCargo as our 20th customer for the increasingly popular A300/A310 wide-body freighter family. It’s a source of great pride to know that converted Airbus aircraft will be playing a crucial part in the growing international freight route structure of a tremendously successful carrier that is Emirates. I know that Emirates SkyCargo will take full advantage of the A310-300 freighter’s great potential.”
The A310F’s capability to use standard cargo containers represents maximum interlining potential with Emirates’ two gigantic A380Fs, expected to enter the fleet in 2008. This will reduce the need to repackage shipments, facilitating rapid transfers, providing quicker service and avoiding damage.
The current six wet-leased Boeing 747s and orders for five Airbus freighters – three A310Fs and two A380Fs – will expand Emirates SkyCargo’s total freighter fleet to 11 aircraft.
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