Emirates SkyCargo has facilitated the import of close to 2,500 tonnes of food from Egypt including fresh fruits such as strawberries, guavas and vegetables including sweet potatoes. Also, it carried more than 2,500 tonnes of food from Kenya including fresh fruits such as pineapples and mangoes, and meat.
It utilised the cargo capacity on its B777F and B777-300ER passenger freighter aircraft to help maintain and replenish food supplies in the UAE during the Covid-19 pandemic. The air cargo carrier has helped import more than 34,000 tonnes of food into the country between January and April 2020, out of which 13,000 tonnes were imported between March and April. In the month of April, Emirates SkyCargo helped bring in food supplies into the UAE from over 35 countries around the world.
Some of the other food imports brought into the country since the start of the year include:
• More than 5,200 tonnes of food from Australia including chilled meat and fruits such as grapes and melons
• More than 4,000 tonnes of food from India including fresh vegetables and fruits
• Close to 1,600 tonnes of salmon from Norway
• Over 4,500 tonnes of food from Pakistan including chilled meat, fish and vegetables
“Despite the severe reduction in the number of flights we operate and the resultant reduction in the amount of cargo capacity we can work with, we have given top importance to maintain food supplies in the UAE as we consider this our responsibility. Through our regular cargo flights from major food production markets such as Australia, Egypt, India, Kenya, Pakistan and many other nations, we have been able to import quality food items. This has helped keep store shelves in the UAE well stocked with the familiar and comfort food items that puts a smile on people’s faces. We are also thankful to the support from the various UAE authorities who have helped facilitate these imports during such critical times,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, cargo.
Recently, Emirates SkyCargo has partnered with the Australian government to support its International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) programme. The initiative has been established by the Australian government to accelerate delivery of agricultural and fisheries exports into key overseas markets, with over 560 Australian businesses already registering their interest in utilising the IFAM.
Amid the pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo has scaled up its operations by handling 3,000 tonnes of cargo per day, which include essential medical supplies including PPEs and pharmaceuticals.
Emirates SkyCargo is currently operating flights to around 60 global destinations on a scheduled basis and to many more destinations as charter and ad hoc operations. Food bound for the UAE is loaded on these flights from markets across the world.
Credit: Logistics Update Africa