Emirates SkyCargo - the freight division of Dubai-based airline Emirates – will be adding further momentum to the surge in trading through Iraq with the launch of its new service to Basra on 2nd February.
As the country’s recovery gathers pace following a period of sustained investment by major global corporations, Emirates SkyCargo will be transporting 130 tonnes of freight per week between Dubai and Iraq’s largest port, strategically located close to key oil fields.
In addition to transporting equipment for oil and petroleum companies in the belly-hold of an Airbus A330-200, it expects to carry a diverse range of goods from all corners of the globe, including perishable foodstuffs, medical products, car parts, garments, textiles and various electronic items such as mobile phones.
The passenger aircraft, operating four times a week, will also serve the Iraqi diaspora, while goods travelling in the other direction – to the likes of the United States, USA, China, India and the UK - will include petroleum products, grains, wool and dates.
“With many multinational companies committed to the redevelopment of Iraq’s economy and infrastructure, the trading potential is very clear,” said Ram Menen, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo. “Iraq’s recovery is already well under way and this new trade route will create further opportunity for growth, with businesses now able to establish trade links with the UAE and the other 65 countries on our global network.“The US and Europe are key trading partners with Iraq and we expect to capitalise on this through our 25 European destinations and services to Houston, San Francisco, LA and New York.
“In addition, with speedy delivery guaranteed to hundreds of other points through an extensive network of interline and overland freighting partners, Emirates SkyCargo looks forward to connecting Iraq to the world and contributing to its continued growth.”
Basra will be the first route to be added to the Emirates network in 2011, becoming the airline’s 110th international destination. Geneva and Copenhagen will follow on 1st June and 1st August respectively and as the airline’s fleet of 152 aircraft grows after the delivery of several of the 200 aircraft it has on order, further route announcements are expected.
The service will operate in a three-class configuration - First Class, Business Class and Economy Class - on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and in a two-class configuration - Business Class and Economy Class - on Mondays.
EK945 will depart Dubai at 13:45 hours and touch down at Basra International Airport at 14:45 hours the same day. At 16:15 hours, return flight EK 946 will depart Basra touching down in Dubai at 19:10 hours. The service connects seamlessly with key industry hubs in the US and Europe.
Emirates SkyCargo will transport 130 tonnes of freight per week between Dubai and Basra in the belly-hold of an Airbus A330.