Emirates SkyCargo expects doubling of capacity in next decade

Emirates SkyCargo freighter aircraft parked on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Emirates SkyCargo

Emirates SkyCargo expects to double its existing cargo capacity in the coming decade, having recently added two additional Boeing 747-400F freighters to its fleet, with 15 more scheduled.

Freighter fleet expansion

Emirates SkyCargo has added 2 Boeing 747-400Fs to its freighter fleet. With recent IATA data showing the continued softening of the global cargo market in the midst of uncertain economic factors, this shows the airlines strong forward confidence market.

Secured on a long-term wet-lease basis, the 2 Boeing 747-Fs complement Emirates SkyCargo’s existing fleet of 11 Boeing 777 freighters.

The two new Boeing freighters are currently being deployed to Chicago three times weekly, and to Hong Kong nine times weekly. 

In addition to these new aircraft, the cargo division of Emirates is expecting 15 more freighters to join its fleet from announced orders for its freighter conversion program.

Further to the dedicated freighter aircraft, the carrier will also see a boost in belly-hold capacity from new passenger aircraft deliveries starting with Airbus A350s in late summer 2024, followed by 777-Xs the year after.

Over the next decade, Emirates SkyCargo expects to double its existing capacity, add over 20 new destinations to its freighter network, and offer even more flexibility and services to its customers with a fleet mix of over 300 wide-body aircraft comprising: 777s, 777-Fs, 747-Fs, A350s, and A380s.


Confidence in the cargo market

Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo echoed the confidence of the carrier in the market, stating:

“While the current market volatility may cause others to hesitate, Emirates SkyCargo is pushing full steam ahead with our plans. The medium to long term projections for global air cargo show an upward trajectory of between 3-5%.”

“Combine that Dubai’s strategy to double its foreign trade where multi-modal logistics will play a big role, and the economic activity happening in markets around the Gulf, West Asia, and Africa, and the opportunity for Emirates SkyCargo is clear.”

An Emirates SkyCargo freighter on the taxiway
Kambui, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

“The 2 new 747-Fs which we have leased will give us immediate capacity, while we wait for delivery of 5 new 777Fs in 2024 and 2025, and 10 777-300ERs to roll out of our conversion program over the next 5 years. We believe even these additional planes will not be sufficient.”

“By then, we’ll have the MRO set-up to quickly and efficiently scale-up our freighter conversion program if we needed to.”

Last week, Emirates SkyCargo drove further ahead with the launch of a brand-new creative advertising campaign, showcasing how ‘The World Works Better with Emirates SkyCargo’.

Through every-day scenarios, the advert demonstrates how essential its logistics business is to connect people and products all around the world, whether that is through life-saving healthcare, fresh fruit, flowers, pets, or valuables. 

About Emirates SkyCargo

Emirates SkyCargo is the airfreight division of Emirates. Through its state-of-the-art hub in Dubai, Emirates SkyCargo transports cargo to 150 destinations across a global network spanning six continents.

The air cargo carrier offers customers cargo capacity on its modern fleet of all wide-body Boeing 777, Airbus A380 aircraft and dedicated freighters – 11 Boeing 777-Fs and 2 747-Fs.

It operates two state-of-the-art cargo terminals at its hub in Dubai, offering transit times of as little as three hours air-to-air.

The terminals offer a total cargo capacity of around one million tonnes per year, with the ability to raise this to 1.3 million tonnes.


Despite the continued softening of demand in the global air cargo market, Emirates SkyCargo is clearly driving ahead proactively with a ramp up of its fleet and network operations, reflecting its degree of confidence in the return of the world market.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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