When Emirates flight 770 takes to the skies on March 30 it will be a momentous occasion for Emirates SkyCargo. With the launch of the daily service to Cape Town, the freight arm of the Dubai-based carrier will further strengthen its ties with South African traders.
Trade between the two countries has grown steadily since services between the UAE and South Africa were inaugurated 13 years ago. In 2006 it crossed the Dh2 billion mark.
Peter Sedgley, Emirates senior vice-president, cargo commercial operations, said: “Emirates SkyCargo regards the South African market as vital. Testimony to this are the two Boeing 747 freighters we operate into Johannesburg each week, as well as the belly capacity on our 21 passenger flights. We have enjoyed excellent relationships with South African shippers for more than a decade, which we look forward to growing with the introduction of non-stop services to Cape Town.”
Emirates SkyCargo has carried an average of 12 tonnes a week from Cape Town through its road feeder services to Johannesburg. However, with the new direct flights this figure is expected to increase to at least 50 tonnes per week.
With the increasing demand worldwide for fresh and organic foods, especially from the Western Cape, local producers will be able to supply in a more direct manner, which will have an immediate positive economic impact for retailers as the shelf life of these products will now be extended.
Further opportunities for the cargo service provider will come from the South African cities of Port Elizabeth and East London as well as Namibia, from where a number of queries have already been received.
Emirates cargo manager for South Africa Kum Naicker said: “The market in Cape Town is tremendously excited about the introduction of the new, non-stop services. Emirates SkyCargo has a built a strong reputation for quality service to South Africa and the Cape Town-based traders. they previously trucked freight to Johannesburg and are looking forward to capitalising on the flights directly from their home market.”
Cape Town marks Emirates SkyCargo’s 18th African destination, including freighter services to Johannesburg, Lilongwe, Nairobi, Entebbe, Eldoret, Lagos, Djibouti and Khartoum.
The service will be operated on Boeing 777-200, which will offer an 18-tonne bellyhold cargo capacity in each direction.
Emirates flight EK 770 departs Dubai at 08.15 hours and arrives in Cape Town at 16.25 hours. The return flight, EK 771, leaves Cape Town International Airport at 18.10 hours and touches down at Dubai International Airport at 06.00 hours the following day.
SkyCargo’s Cape Town service to further increase trade