Coronavirus: Etihad deploys cargo-only Boeing 787s

etihad cargo boeing

To complement its fleet of Boeing 777 freighters, Etihad Cargo has introduced a fleet of Boeing 787-10 aircraft as passenger freighters to operate 34 weekly flights, serving 10 markets initially.

Each aircraft will provide capacity for 12 lower deck pallets and four containers, carrying up to 45 tons of payload.

This comes following the directive issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) of the United Arab Emirates to temporarily suspend all passenger services to and from the UAE. 

The passenger freighter network will introduce capacity into India, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea and other places where borders remain open for cargo. The current freighter schedule will also include additional flights into Riyadh, London, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

By utilising the Boeing 787 in addition to its freighter fleet, Etihad Cargo will ensure the continuity of vital imports into the UAE, including fruits, vegetables, meat, medical supplies, mail and ecommerce, as well as continuing to play a vital role in connecting key cargo markets.

Managing director of cargo and logistics at Etihad Aviation Group, Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, said: “As the national carrier to the UAE, Etihad is working closely with the UAE government to ensure the country is well served and the needs of the people residing in the UAE are unaffected, while continuing to play our role as a facilitator of global trade between the East and the West.”

“In the current environment and as per our leadership’s guidance, it is essential these trade lanes remain open, and with the addition on this capacity we are able to serve those constrained markets that face decreased passenger freight operations, offering a strategic cargo lifeline and supporting the continuity of the global trade ecosystem.”

Other airlines have also followed suit in introducing passenger freighters following the coronavirus outbreak, including Lufthansa.

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