Emirates SkyCargo explores plans for additional freight routes in India

Emirates SkyCargo is considering the addition of three new destinations in India by June, aiming to capitalize on the expanding trade opportunities in the country. The Dubai-based airline currently operates 167 weekly passenger flights to nine cities and eight freighter flights to three cities (Ahmedabad, Chennai, and Mumbai) in India, providing a weekly capacity of 4,000 tonnes.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates SkyCargo’s Divisional Senior Vice President, stated, “We are looking forward to operating scheduled freighter flights to three additional cities in India. The plan is under consideration. We are hoping to start the service by June.”

Sultan highlighted the strong growth in the airline’s cargo business in India, attributing it to substantial new investments in the manufacturing sector, particularly in mobile phones, electronics, and consumer goods. Pharmaceuticals are also a growth area, with the airline transporting large volumes from India to Europe and the US. The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between India and the UAE has further boosted business, emphasizing the incredible closeness between the two regions.

India stands among the top five markets for Emirates’ cargo business, constituting approximately eight percent of its overall freight volume. The airline recorded over 1.8 million tonnes of cargo flown between January and December 2023, achieving over a 7 percent year-on-year growth.

Sultan noted that freight loads on flights from India typically range from 90-100 percent, while those to India range between 50-60 percent due to trade imbalances, a trend observed in other countries in East and Southeast Asia.

Geopolitical tensions have also contributed to the growth in cargo volumes. Sultan mentioned, “We launched a sea-air product two years ago. We are able to deliver shipments in 12-14 days with cargoes being shipped to Dubai and then flown by us to Europe or the US.”


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