Dubai-based airline, flydubai, has allocated six Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft to operate as all-cargo flights to enable the movement of essential goods across its network and beyond.
This follows the temporarily suspension of passenger operations as part of the precautionary measures announced by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA; and the General Civil Aviation Authority of the UAE, GCAA, said the company in a statement issued on Wednesday.
"We recognise that air cargo has an important role to play in supporting the continuity of the supply chain and the efforts at a government and a private sector level to ensure the movement of essential supplies, especially during these unprecedented times," said Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer at flydubai.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, air cargo has been a vital partner in delivering medicines, medical equipment, perishables, valuable goods, courier, spare parts, electronic items and post office mail to affected areas.
flydubai is utilising the cargo hold capacity in its passenger aircraft and has been working with the authorities to increase its cargo capabilities by allowing cargo in the cabin to a number of destinations, in line with the guidelines and recommendations issued by the International Air Transport Association, IATA; International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO; and Boeing.
The airline has operated relief flights to a number of countries affected by the travel restrictions including Azerbaijan, Egypt, India, Kuwait, Lebanon, Montenegro, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.
For his part, Mohamed Hassan, Vice President of Cargo Operations at flydubai, said, "We have seen a strong global demand for cargo and we are working towards expanding our operations beyond the flydubai network to enable more goods to be transported to those who need them the most. We are following the guidelines set by the IATA and the World Health Organisation to the highest standards and coordinating closely with our strategic partners to maximise existing capacity, resources and our network reach."
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