The Emirates airline has introduced additional cargo capacity by using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with seats removed from the economy class cabin.
The measure has been introduced in response to the strong air cargo market demand for the rapid, reliable and efficient transportation of essential commodities such as personal protective equipment (PPE), pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, food, machinery and other supplies around the world.
Emirates SkyCargo will be operating 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with 17 tonnes or 132 cubic metres of additional cargo capacity per flight on top of the 40-50 tonne cargo capacity in the belly hold of the wide-body passenger aircraft, said a press release from airline on Thursday.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president (Cargo), said, "We have been working flat out, first to re-connect a global network of more than 85 destinations and then to introduce capacity options that fit what our customers demand from us including passenger aircraft flying only with belly-hold cargo and loading cargo in the overhead bins and on passenger seats."
"Now, with the Emirates Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with modified economy class cabins, we will be able to transport even more cargo per flight, allowing for more cargo to reach their destination faster and for more efficient cargo operations," he added.
The modification of the economy class cabins of the 10 Emirates Boeing 777-300ER is being executed at the state of the art Emirates Engineering facilities in Dubai.
Engineers remove 305 economy seats from one aircraft, fixing safety equipment and implementing regular load bearing tests during the process.
Seven aircraft have already been modified by the Emirates Engineering team, with three more aircraft due to be ready by mid-July 2020.
By the end of the project, the Emirates Engineering team would have removed 3,050 seats, which will be safely and hygienically stored away till the time the aircraft are required for passenger services. The seats will be fitted back into the aircraft and tested for passenger safety and comfort.