May 06, 2020: In a bid to further optimise cargo operations and capacity, Emirates SkyCargo has started loading cargo in the overhead bins and seats of its B777-300ER passenger aircraft. The carrier would be able to provide up to 24 tonnes of additional cargo capacity with complete loading of overhead bins and seats in its B777-300ER.

Starting May, Emirates SkyCargo started to fly to seven African destinations including Entebbe, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Eldoret, Cairo, Casablanca, and Khartoum using B777-300ER.

With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is operating 11 B777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of cargo per flight and around 60 of its B777-300ER passenger aircraft as dedicated cargo aircraft, with a 40-50 tonnes belly-hold cargo capacity per flight.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, cargo said, “We took a measured approach to the loading of cargo inside the cabins of our B777-300ER passenger aircraft. We have now, after a complete evaluation, rolled out a detailed set of guidelines and procedures including strict rules on the kind of cargo that can be loaded inside the cabin. We have operated flights from stations such as Tokyo and New Delhi with cargo in the overhead bins and seats and are now in a position to be able to safely and optimally respond to customer demands for additional cargo capacity from main global production markets. We will be operating more flights over the coming weeks with cargo in both the belly as well as inside the main cabin. In addition, we are also looking at other measures including the removal of seats from select aircraft to deploy on high demand trade lanes.”

For the loading of cargo in the seats and overhead bins inside the passenger cabin of the B777-300ER aircraft, the air cargo carrier has developed a robust set of guidelines for its global teams on handling procedures and has also introduced a smart calculator application to help its employees around the world to calculate optimal loading capacity inside the passenger cabin of Emirates’ B777-300ER aircraft.

Recently, Emirates SkyCargo operated a B777-300ER from Mumbai loaded with just over 66 tonnes of cargo in the lower deck of the aircraft. The cargo carried was a mix of general cargo, perishables, and sanitisers. The cargo was loaded on 12 pallets and six containers.

Meanwhile, Kenya Airways Cargo boosted up its operation of transporting 40 tonnes of flowers and vegetables to Amsterdam in seats and overhead bins. On April 30, KLM operated a B777-300 flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam by carrying cargo in its belly, passenger seats, and in the baggage bins of the aircraft cabin. The load consisted mainly of urgent medical supplies, including hundreds of thousands of facemasks and protective gowns to be used in combatting coronavirus.

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