Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates Airline, yesterday celebrated the inaugural service on its new Far East and Australasia freighter route.
The weekly air cargo service, operated by its new Boeing 777 freighter, will fly Dubai-Singapore-Sydney-Hong Kong-Dubai, providing the key trading points with additional connectivity to Emirates' Dubai hub, which can link businesses to the 114 destinations on the carrier's network.
The Boeing 777F - which touched down for the first time in Sydney on 12th September - has the capability to carry up to 103 tonnes of freight.
"This new route not only bolsters capacity, it provides our customers with more options and increased trade opportunities," said Hiran Perera, Emirates' SVP Cargo Planning & Freighters.
"We currently transport cargo in the belly-hold of 126 passenger flights a week between Dubai and Australia, as well 28 Hong Kong flights and 42 Singapore flights, and the freighter - with a wide main deck door - will increase our ability to carry oversized shipments," added Perera.
"This takes our import capacity to Australia to 1370 tonnes per week and, in these uncertain economic conditions, is further testament of our commitment to facilitating international trade for businesses in the region."
The inaugural fligh - which carried 100 tonnes of cargo, including medical equipment, diagnostics, spare parts, textiles and clothing - was met by Greg Johnson, Emirates' Cargo Manager Australia, and Alex Barkway, Emirates' Cargo Manager New South Wales.
"The addition of a dedicated freighter service is a major milestone in Emirates SkyCargo's growth in Australia, and offers new possibilities for expansion into other areas of air cargo transport," said Johnson. "With the high Australian dollar driving up imports, this new flight will also provide us with much needed additional capacity into the market."
EK9920 will depart Dubai every Sunday at 20:35 and touch down in Singapore at 07:55 the following day. The B777F will then depart at 09:00 and complete its outbound journey at 18:30 when it touches down at Sydney International Airport.
The return service, EK 9921, will depart Sydney every Monday at 21:30 and land in Hong Kong at 04:35 on Tuesday. Departing Hong Kong at 07:35 as EK 9865, the service will then terminate in Dubai at 10:35.
With a long-range flying capacity and technologically advanced General Electric (GE) engines, the Boeing 777F provides greater flexibility than any other freighter aircraft currently in operation. It maintains the lowest fuel burn of any comparable sized aircraft, consuming nearly 18 per cent less fuel than today's freighters.
Emirates SkyCargo introduced its first Boeing 777F in March 2009. In December 2010, it operated its longest ever non-stop flight on the Boeing 777F; 17.5 hours from Sydney to New York. Emirates is the largest operator of Boeing 777 aircraft in the world, with 91 in its fleet currently.