Cargo conversion

Emirates SkyCargo and EADS EFW have signed a contract for the conversion of three A310-300 freighter aircraft, formerly operated by Aeroflot.

The aircraft will be the first Airbus freighters in Emirates’ fleet, and also the first ones owned by the airline. With this order, Emirates will be the launch customer for Airbus freighters with side-by-side loading capability of 96″x125″ pallets.

The A310-300Fs are expected to enter Emirates’ fleet from the middle of next year with one delivered in July 2005 and the other two in January 2006. The wide-bodied freighters will have a payload capacity of 39 tonnes of cargo.

Ram Menen, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo said: “We intend to use the aircraft on key regional routes and high-density cargo markets in the Middle East and African region, the Indian subcontinent, and the Mediterranean region.

“The new aircraft will provide flexibility and more capacity to our customers; help us rationalise payloads and service key markets better with quicker turnarounds; and enhance Dubai’s role as a regional cargo hub.”

The aircraft will be equipped with Auxiliary Centre Tanks to increase their range, enabling one-stop operations from Dubai to the US and countries in the South Pacific.