Emirates announced that it will invest AED3.6 billion (US$ 1 billion) to provide more air cargo capacity. It revealed the order for two new Boeing 777 freighters and conversion orders for four of the airline’s Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft.
The new orders are expected to arrive next year, whilst the widebody freighter conversions will take some time between 2023 and 2024, the carrier noted.
Emirates SkyCargo, who was the launch customer of the widebody freighter in 2009, has signed a purchase agreement with Boeing for two new Boeing 777-F aircraft, which will be delivered in April and June 2022 respectively.
The Dubai-based carrier also signed an agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the conversion of four Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft into full freighters, which includes an option for further conversions at a later stage.
The conversion programme for the four aircraft will commence in early 2023 and is expected to conclude in 2024 with each aircraft taking up to an estimated five months for the process.
The converted freighters will provide up to 10 additional pallet positions over the Boeing 777-F production freighter allowing for transport of more low-density cargo including e-commerce goods.
IAI’s Aviation Group is currently converting the first B777-300ER aircraft, together with GECAS, with Kalitta Air as the launch partner. Emirates is currently the largest operator of the 777 widebody plane worldwide.
Boeing revealed in a statement that the 777F orders were previously attributed to an unidentified customer on its Orders and Deliveries website. The widebody freighter aircraft is valued at more than $704 million at list prices, it added.