Emirates SkyCargo has doubled its lift capacity between Geneva and Dubai with a second daily flight. The additional service increases capacity on the route by nearly 140 tonnes, using a 777-300ER that can handle outsized cargo.
SkyCargo currently offers bellyhold cargo capacity to Geneva and Zurich, along with dedicated freighter service to Basel. With twice the flights on Emirates’ Dubai-Geneva-Dubai route, the carrier has increased is overall cargo capacity to Switzerland by 26 percent.
The added service reflects a larger trend in air cargo over the last decade that Emirates has spearheaded, namely, increasing market penetration by Gulf region carriers on routes between Europe, the Middle East-North Africa region, and Asia. At the same time, European carriers, such as Air France/KLM Cargo are shedding capacity in an effort to achieve profitability. These developments are opening market share to competitors such as UAE-based carrier Emirates, which reported net profit up 56 percent to a record US$1.9 billion in its recently completed 2015/16 fiscal year, with a strong contribution from cargo operations.
As has been the case with many airlines in a year of falling fuel surcharges, cargo revenue declined (down 9 percent to $3 billion), but still accounted for 14 percent of the carrier’s total transport revenue. But, unlike many other airlines in a year of little or no growth in airfreight demand, Emirates’ cargo traffic grew strongly — up 7.2 percent to 12.6 billion revenue tonne kilometers. Cargo volume for the year was up 5.6 percent to 2.51 million tonnes. Cargo carried in the bellies of Emirates’ passenger aircraft rose 6 percent (the airline added 29 widebody pax aircraft last year), while main-deck volume was up 4 percent, as Emirates also added a 777F.