Emirates SkyCargo maintains supply chains for food and other perishables during COVID-19

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, continues to play a vital role in supporting Kenyan businesses through the transportation of essential food commodities using its Boeing 777-300ERs passenger aircrafts from Nairobi to Dubai.

The air cargo carrier has enhanced the movement of fresh fruits and through the airline’s 10 weekly scheduled flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. In particular, Kenya has exported fresh fruits such as pineapple, avocados, mangoes and chilled goat meat to global markets through Emirates hub in Dubai.

Mr. Saeed Abdulla, Emirates Cargo Manager, East Africa said: “Consumers across the world have integrated international ingredients and produce into their daily diets for taste and nutritional reasons. Members of international diaspora are also looking for comfort food offerings from their home countries in supermarket shelves. With our global network and weekly flight schedule, food items from the Kenyan market retain their freshness as they are rapidly transported to their final destinations and the dining tables of consumers.”

The growth of export markets over the last decade has also provided a boost to farming communities and agriculture in the various production markets. Emirates SkyCargo’s flights provide a quick and direct connection for farmers and exporters of food items to their international end customers, thereby supporting their livelihoods and the local economy.

With every new destination, Emirates SkyCargo opens up one more potential trade lane for food products across the world. As an example, Emirates SkyCargo, through its direct flights, helped create a market for tropical fruits from Vietnam in the Middle East and exports of these products increased nearly five-fold in just one year in 2017.

With COVID-19 and the disruption to international passenger aviation, the supply chain for food products was put into risk of disruption. However, Emirates SkyCargo worked very quickly to restore its international cargo connectivity, growing its network from just around 35 destinations on its freighter aircraft at the end of March to more than 130 destinations by early October on its freighter as well as passenger aircraft. Currently around 500 tonnes of food items are transported every day in the cargo hold of Emirates aircraft across the world.

Mr Abdulla added: “As a socially responsible carrier, we are ensuring that adequate cargo capacity remains available on our widebody aircraft during the COVID-19 pandemic for the transport of urgent medical supplies as well as food items. By doing this, we are able to help countries and supermarkets maintain their food supplies and at the same time help farmers reliant on food exports continue to make their livelihoods in these challenging times.”

Operating in Kenya since 1995, Emirates SkyCargo has been a facilitator of the country’s trade, connecting businesses and markets to the airline’s global network.

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