Emirates' cargo unit set to increase African capacity

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Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, said on Sunday it is set to increase its cargo capacity to Tunis and Abidjan with the introduction of a weekly freighter service from March 17.

The new freighter flight will supplement the existing belly hold cargo capacity provided on Emirates’ daily passenger services to the two cities.

Emirates SkyCargo currently offers more than 200 tonnes of capacity each week on the Tunis route, while the flights to Abidjan, which is a linked route with Accra, offers more than 300 tonnes, it said in a statement.

The cargo unit said it will use one of its Boeing 777 Freighter aircraft on the Dubai-Abidjan-Tunis-Dubai route, which is capable of carrying 103 tonnes of cargo.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said: “Africa is a key growth region for Emirates SkyCargo and the additional capacity and frequency of a scheduled freighter service will create new opportunities for businesses in Tunisia and Cote D’Ivoire wanting to tap into new markets in the Emirates network, particularly the Middle East, Asia and the Far East, as well as for customers in our network wanting to increase their trade with the two countries.”

Imports into Abidjan include electronics and electrical equipment, automotive spare parts, construction equipment and pharmaceuticals, while similar types of cargo are moved into Tunis.

Exports from Tunis are perishables, electronics, construction equipment and textiles, while exports from Abidjan are mainly perishables, such as fresh and frozen fruit, vegetables, meat, seafood and other foodstuffs, as well plants, machinery and tools.

Emirates SkyCargo currently operates freighters to 46 destinations around the world, 13 of which are in Africa.

Emirates SkyCargo has a fleet of 12 freighters, 10 Boeing 777Fs and two Boeing 747-400ERFs, which from May 1 will operate from a new cargo terminal at Dubai World Central’s Al Maktoum International Airport.

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