EmirAtes SkyCargo has taken delivery of the first of its three Airbus A310-300Fs from EADS EFW, at the latter’s facility in Dresden in Germany.
The first delivery was marked by celebrations in Dresden, attended by media representatives as well as senior management from Emirates and EADS EFW.
At the press conference held in Dresden, Ram Menen, senior vice-president cargo at Emirates, said: “The first A310-300 freighter in our fleet is cause for triple celebrations. It represents the first Airbus freighter in our fleet, the first freighter ever owned by Emirates and we are now the launch customer for Airbus freighters with side-by-side loading capability of 96' x 125' pallets.”
He added: “Our A310F has a high gross maximum take-off weight of 164 tonnes, a significant improvement over other freighter versions. This project also marks an important collaboration with EADS EFW and we would like to thank them for their proactive approach and schedule integrity.”
The new aircraft will provide more capacity and better serve Emirates SkyCargo's customers in its key regional routes in the Middle East, Mediterranean, South Asia and Africa.
Complementing the current fleet of Boeing 747s, the A310Fs are designed to rationalise payloads, increase flexibility and provide quicker turnarounds. The A310Fs are expected to enhance Dubai's role as a regional cargo hub.
The wide-bodied A310-300F with the Emirates SkyCargo logo emblazoned on the fuselage has a gross payload of 39 tonnes. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the aircraft offers excellent performance capabilities. The aircraft also has auxiliary centre tanks to increase its range, enabling one-stop operations from Dubai to the USA and countries in the South Pacific. Horst Emker, president and CEO of EADS EFW, said, “We are very pleased to deliver the first A310-300 freighter to Emirates Sky Cargo. It is a source of great pride to know that the converted Airbus aircraft will be playing a crucial part in the growing international freight routes of a very successful carrier know that Emirates SkyCargo will take full advantage of the A3l0-300' freighter's great potential.” The two A3l0-300Fs on order is scheduled to enter Emirates’ fleet by the end of this year.
The A3l0Fs are designed to be A380F-friendly. The A3l0F's capability to use standard cargo containers represents maximum interlining potential with Emirates’ two gigantic A380Fs which are expected to enter the fleet in 2008. This will reduce the need to re-package shipments, facilitating rapid transfers, thus providing quicker service and avoiding damage.
The six wet-leased Boeing 747s, the first. A3l0F and orders for four more Airbus freighters - two A3l0Fs and two A380Fs – will expand Emirates Air Cargo’s total freighter fleet to 11 aircraft.
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