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Emirates SkyCargo

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Emirates SkyCargo (Arabic: الإمارات للشحن الجوي‎) is a cargo airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.[1] As of 2019, it is the second largest cargo airline worldwide in terms of the total freight tonne-kilometres flown and the largest in terms of international freight tonne-kilometres flown.[2]

Emirates SkyCargo
Emirates SkyCargo Logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Commenced operations25 October 1985
HubsAl Maktoum International Airport
Fleet size11
Company sloganDelivering the highest standards of product quality
Parent companyThe Emirates Group
HeadquartersDubai, United Arab Emirates
Key peopleSheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum (Chairman & CEO)

Emirates SkyCargo is the air freight division of Emirates, which started operations in October 1985, the same year Emirates was formed.[3] Since then it has been the main cargo division of Emirates, and the anchor cargo airline at Al Maktoum International Airport, its main hub. Emirates SkyCargo operates dedicated cargo flights to 50 destinations from Al Maktoum International Airport, and through the Emirates passenger network has access to additional 100 destinations.[4] Whilst using bellyhold capacity in the Emirates' passenger fleet, it also operates freighter aircraft. Emirates SkyCargo is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which has over 40,000 employees, and is wholly owned by the Government of Dubai directly under the Investment Corporation of Dubai.[5]


A former Emirates SkyCargo Airbus A310-300F
A former Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 747-400F

Early yearsEdit

Emirates SkyCargo was established in October 1985, at the same time as Emirates was launched,[6] operating as a separate entity from its parent company.[7] In its first year, SkyCargo handled over 10,000 tonnes of freight. SkyCargo leased the entire freighter fleet from Emirates, as well as taking over management of the cargo holds in all of Emirates' passenger aircraft.

The airline received its first award in 1989. Since then, Emirates SkyCargo has received more than 100 international awards – including Best Cargo Airline to the Middle East for 20 years in a row.[8]

On October 3, 1993, Emirates SkyCargo signed an agreement with EC International to handle all cargo shipments from the United States to 24 countries serviced by Emirates – the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Europe and the Far East.[9] New routes were launched when both Emirates began growing. Amsterdam was launched in 1997, the same year EmiratesSkyCargo was experiencing growth, and accounting for 16% of The Emirates Groups revenue.

Development since the 2000sEdit

In May 2003, the airline took delivery of a Boeing 747-400 freighter taking the freighter fleet to three Boeing 747s. Emirates SkyCargo was operating two Boeing 747-400s with capacity for 120 tonnes and a Boeing 747-200 with capacity for 110 tonnes.[10] In September 2004, the airline launched freighter services to Johannesburg and Lahore. On 20 November 2005, Emirates announced orders for eight Boeing 777 Freighters, with the first aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2007, at the Dubai Airshow.

In 2005, Emirates SkyCargo and Korean Air Cargo signed an agreement to codeshare cargo capacity on two routes from India – Delhi and Mumbai.[11]

In the financial year ending March 2006, SkyCargo announced revenues of over $1 billion and carried over one million tonnes of cargo. The freighter fleet included four freighters: one Boeing 747-400F and three A310-300Fs. In the same year, the airline also launched a freighter service to Barcelona using the Airbus 310 Freighter.

During the Farnborough Air Show in July 2006, Emirates signed a Heads of Agreement for ten Boeing 747-8F aircraft, to be powered by General Electric's GEnx jet engines, in a deal worth US$3.3 billion.[12] In July 2008, EK sold these ten frames to Dubai Aerospace Enterprises and agreed to lease them back.[13]

In 2008, Emirates SkyCargo moved its operations into its new Cargo Mega Terminal, built on a 43,600 square metre site, has increased the ground-handling capacity by 1.2 million tonnes per year. The new addition increases DXB's throughput capacity to 1.6 million tons a year.[14][15]

In March 2009, SkyCargo took delivery of a new Boeing 777 long-range freighter, bringing its total fleet to eight aircraft. In the financial year 2008-09, Emirates SkyCargo 1.4 million tonnes of freight, up 9.8 per cent over the previous year. The division produced revenues of AED6.7bn in 2007-8. Emirates SkyCargo generated 19 per cent of the Emirates Group's total revenues, which increased 9.9 per cent to AED44.2bn despite an 82 per cent fall in the its net profits, to AED982m.[16] The SkyCargo service alone employed over 1,000 people as of 2009.[17]

During the financial year 2008-09, Emirates SkyCargo carried in 1,408,300 tonnes of cargo, an improvement of 9.8% compared to the previous year. Emirates SkyCargo accounts for 20% of Emirates’ transport revenue.

In November 2011, DAE cancelled five of the 747-8 freighters and converted them to 777 Freighters.[18] In December 2012, DAE cancelled the remaining five 747-8F, with Emirates SkyCargo focusing its fleet on the 777F only.

In April 2013 SkyCargo was voted Air Cargo News Cargo Airline of the Year.[19]

In July 2013, work started on a SkyCargo terminal. Once complete, SkyCargo will move their freighter operations from Dubai International Airport to the new facility at Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International Airport. The facility is being built by Amana Contracting and Steel Buildings.[20]

In May 2015, Emirates SkyCargo became the largest air freight carriers in the world to ban the transport of lion, tiger, rhino and elephant hunting trophies, even if they were obtained legally.[21]

Business figuresEdit

Emirates and Emirates SkyCargo financial and operational performance[A][22]
Year ended Cargo carried (thousand tonne-km) Turnover (AEDm) Expenditure (AEDm) Net profit/loss (AEDm)
31 March 1997 159.4 1,198.7 1,097.1  101.623
31 March 1998 200.1 4,089.1 3,826.7  262.413
31 March 1999 214.2 4,442.9 4,130.2  312.959
31 March 2000 269.9 5,113.8 4,812.9  300.900
31 March 2001 335.2 6,417.3 5,970.7  421.825
31 March 2002 400.6 7,274.6 6,783.7  468.231
31 March 2003 525.2 9,709.7 8,749.6  906.747
31 March 2004 659.8 13,286.3 11,602.1  1,573.511
31 March 2005 838.4 18,130.9 15,628.3   2,407.385
31 March 2006 1,018.5 23,050.9 20,489.6   2,474.97
31 March 2007 1,155.9 29,839.6 26,675.9   3,096.4
31 March 2008 1,282.1 40,196.6 35,121.7   5,020.4
31 March 2009 1,408.3 44,188.9 43,143.4   981.7
31 March 2010 1,898.5 45,188.9 44,487.5   1,132.7
31 March 2016 2,714.3 63,228.9 57,107.5   6,124.4


As of September 2019, Emirates SkyCargo operates dedicated cargo flights to 45 destinations and additionally has access to cargo capacity on further 100 Emirates passenger routes.[4]


Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777F

As of June 2019, the Emirates SkyCargo fleet consists of the following aircraft:

Emirates SkyCargo Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 777F 11[23] -- Leased from Dubai Aerospace Enterprise
Total 11 0


  • A The Emirates Group does not publish figures separately for Emirates SkyCargo or Emirates; both of the companies' financial results are totaled together.


  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 77.
  2. ^ "IATA - WATS 58th - Scheduled Freight Tonne - Kilometres - 2013". Archived from the original on 2012-12-15.
  3. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo - About Us - Company Overview". Emirates SkyCargo. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  4. ^ a b "SkyCargo Route Map". Emirates SkyCargo. Retrieved 2016-08-29.
  5. ^ - Emirates and Dnata now under ICD
  6. ^ "Emirates Sky Cargo | Agriculture and Industry Survey". 2005-07-01. Retrieved 2009-09-03.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "news - Jet Aviation adds Emirates SkyCargo as new cargo client in Zurich". Retrieved 2009-09-03.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "SkyCargo Awards - Air Cargo - Emirates SkyCargo". 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  9. ^ "Article: Emirates and EC service agreement. Emirates Sky Cargo contract with EC... | AccessMyLibrary - Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary. 1993-10-01. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  10. ^ "Article: Emirates SkyCargo launches four freighter routes, THE INDEPENDENT. | AccessMyLibrary - Promoting library advocacy". AccessMyLibrary. 2003-07-02. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  11. ^ "Cargo News and Updates Blog::Emirates SkyCargo and Korean Air Cargo have signed an agreement to codeshare cargo capacity". Cargo.Pk. Retrieved 2009-12-05.
  12. ^ "Emirates places largest-ever order of Boeing 777s | Emirates". 2007-02-26. Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  13. ^ "DAE Capital adds 18 Boeing 747 and 777 Freighters in Emirates' deal". Archived from the original on 2013-08-15. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  14. ^ "Cargo Mega Terminal - Air Cargo - Emirates Sky Cargo". 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  15. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo". The Emirates Group. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  16. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo boosts annual revenues to $2bn". 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  17. ^ "Emirates SkyCargo The Middle East's No 1 air freight operation". Emirates. 2012.
  18. ^ "Boeing's newest 747 loses five orders". Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
  19. ^ Nigel Tomkins (29 April 2013). "Emirates SkyCargo does it again". Air Cargo News.
  20. ^ (WAM), Emirates News Agency (17 July 2013). "SkyCargo terminal works start". Emirates 24/7. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
  21. ^ "Philotherians Love Emirates". 2015-05-26. Retrieved 2015-05-26.
  22. ^ "Annual Reports | The Emirates Group". 2009-07-09. Retrieved 2009-07-15.
  23. ^ "Production List Search". Retrieved 2018-07-09.

External linksEdit