Emirates has released extra cargo capacity, by converting ten of its Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft into freighters.
In this change, Emirates modified the cabin of its aircraft, by removing all economy seats – leaving the business and first-class seats aboard.
The removal of the economy seating allows for an extra 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. Aircraft are being modified by Emirates Engineering, in Dubai.
Each aircraft requiring close to 640 man-hours of work for the modification before it can re-enter service.
Emirates Engineering engineers remove 305 Economy Seats from one aircraft, fixing safety equipment and implementing regular load-bearing tests during the process. The seats will be stored and reinstalled when the aircraft is handed back by Emirates SkyCargo,
Currently, seven aircraft have already been modified by the Emirates Engineering team, with three more aircraft due to be ready by mid-July 2020.
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On the passenger deck, cargo will be limited to items such as 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.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo said:
“Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo has taken very seriously its responsibility of connecting people and businesses across the world with the commodities that they urgently require. To this end, we have been working flat out, first to re-connect a global network of more than 85 destinations and then to introduce capacity options that fit what our customers demand from us including passenger aircraft flying only with belly hold cargo and loading cargo in the overhead bins and on passenger seats. Now, with the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with modified Economy Class cabins, we will be able to transport even more cargo per flight, allowing for more cargo to reach their destination faster and for more efficient cargo operations.”
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.”
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