UAE –Emirates SkyCargo has reactivated its cargo hub in Dubai South for dedicated freighter aircraft operations.

The Emirates SkyCentral DWC move marks a return to dual hub cargo operations in Dubai for the air cargo carrier after a period of nearly two years.

In April 2020, Emirates SkyCargo consolidated its freighter and passenger cargo operations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) in light of the suspension of passenger flights during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The consolidation was aimed at streamlining and expediting the transport of essential supplies and medical items across the world, a statement said.

With the recovery of Emirates’ passenger network and operations, as well as the gradual increase in cargo volumes, Emirates SkyCargo will restructure its operations across two hubs in Dubai.

The freight division of Emirates airline plans to structure its operations across the emirate’s two hubs in order to capitalize on the “growth of Emirates’ passenger network and operations, as well as the progressive increase in cargo volumes,” the company announced.

While Emirates SkyCentral DXB will handle cargo arriving or departing on passenger aircraft, Emirates SkyCentral DWC will handle cargo arriving or departing on dedicated freighter aircraft.

Emirates SkyCargo suspended operations at its DWC hub in April 2020 and consolidated its freighter (main deck) and passenger (belly-hold) cargo operations at Dubai International Airport.

Emirates SkyCentral DWC opened in 2015 and has a total cargo capacity of over 1 million tonnes per year.

The terminal has extensive cool chain handling facilities as well as a dedicated pharma handling zone that is EU GDP certified.

Additionally, the terminal has cool chain handling infrastructure and a dedicated pharmaceutical handling zone. Aircraft parking stands, located close to the terminal, allow for the rapid transport of cargo.

A fleet of lorries will carry cargo between the two airports in Dubai, Emirates said.

Streamlining global essential supplies

The move is intended to “streamline and expedite the transport of essential supplies and medical items around the world,” according to the announcement.

Emirates SkyCargo has been heavily involved in the global transport of Covid-19 vaccines, and it also increased its pharmaceutical-handling capacity at Dubai International Airport last year.

The airline’s fully automated cool room at its pharmaceuticals center has been expanded to provide an additional 2,600 square meters of temperature-controlled environment, ranging from 2oC to 25oC, for storing and handling vaccines and other medicines.

Strong air cargo demand was one of the few bright spots in the global aviation industry, which has been battered by the pandemic for two years.

However, the International Air Transport Association reported that supply chain disruptions, capacity constraints, and deteriorating economic conditions in the sector have dampened demand this year.

Global freight demand, measured in cargo tonne-kilometres, increased by 2.7% year on year in January, but fell short of the 9.3% increase recorded in December 2021.

Capacity was 11.4% higher than in January 2021. Despite being in positive territory, it remains constrained, at 8.9% below January 2019 levels, according to the aviation body.

For high priority freight and urgently required commodities, Emirates SkyCargo will be able to offer a connection time of under five hours from when an aircraft lands at Dubai International Airport to when it takes off at DWC, and vice versa, it said.

Emirates SkyCargo is Emirates’ air freight division, providing cargo capacity to customers on its fleet of all-widebody Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft across a global network of more than 140 destinations on six continents.

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