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Emirates and Cargolux unveil global air freight partnership

Two of the world’s biggest air freight carriers link their hubs and networks, promising to share best practice.

Two of the world’s biggest air cargo carriers, Emirates SkyCargo and Cargolux Airlines, have signed an agreement for a strategic operational partnership.

Describing it as a “unique and ground-breaking agreement” between a mainline airline and a specialised freighter operator, the world’s largest international air cargo carrier and Europe’s largest all-cargo airline will seek to work closely on a number of operational aspects, including sharing aircraft capacity and cargo handling at each other’s hubs.

Both carriers will further develop block space and interline agreements for use on each other’s networks, giving each other’s customers access to capacity on routes where the airline does not currently operate. “Cargolux will have access to Emirates SkyCargo’s high frequency distribution network through the belly-hold of passenger flights to over 150 global destinations in 83 countries, whilst Emirates will have access to main deck 747 capacity on Cargolux’s network,” the two said.

In order to more closely link the two airlines’ networks and hubs, to give them greater connectivity, Emirates SkyCargo will commence freighter operations to Carglux’s home airport Luxembourg from June 2017. Cargo from both Emirates SkyCargo and Cargolux will be handled at the same facility in Luxembourg. 

Cargolux will also increase the frequency of freighters to Dubai World Central (DWC) from its current three times a week service to facilitate connectivity between the two cargo hubs. Additionally Cargolux freighters operating to Dubai World Central will be handled by Emirates SkyCargo. 

Handling cooperation at both hubs “will facilitate seamless movement of cargo between the two operators”, the carriers said. The airlines said the transport of products requiring special care, such as pharmaceuticals, “will also be smooth given that both operators have EU Good Distribution Practices (GDP) certification for transportation of medicinal products for human use”.

In addition, the increased hub connectivity between Dubai and Luxembourg will contribute to strengthening the position of both locations as major logistics hubs and distribution centres in their respective regions, the carriers said.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Airlines’ divisional senior vice president for cargo, commented: “Emirates SkyCargo is committed to being the leading player in the global air cargo industry. Cooperating with Cargolux who is a leading, established and specialised air cargo operator with strengths that are complementary to our own, will allow us to present a broader enriched product offering and add value to our customers.”

Cargolux president and CEO Richard Forson said: “As one of the leading carriers worldwide, Emirates SkyCargo is an important player in the industry, as Cargolux is, and our supplementary capabilities allow us to develop service offerings that both of us could not provide on our own. Emirates SkyCargo’s choice of Cargolux as their preferred partner shows that our quest for quality and personal attention to customers is recognised and well received.”

In addition to allowing both carriers to develop service offerings to customers, the operational cooperation will enable both parties to ensure best practices in cargo handling and transport, the two carriers added.

Emirates SkyCargo is the freight division of Emirates and is the world’s largest international cargo airline, with cargo hold capacity consisting of Emirates’ all wide-body fleet of close to 260 aircraft, including 15 freighters – 13 Boeing 777-Fs and two B747-400ERFs.

Cargolux is Europe’s leading all-cargo airline, with a fleet composed of 14 Boeing 747-8 freighters and 12 Boeing 747-400 freighters.

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