INDIA & MIDDLE EAST: Emirates boosts Iraq trade with Basra service

Emirates SkyCargo will be adding further momentum to the surge in freight movement trading through Iraq as the country rebuilds, following the launch of its new service to Basra on 2 February. SkyCargo will be transporting 130 tonnes of freight per week between Dubai and Iraq’s largest port, strategically located close to key oil fields. […]


Emirates SkyCargo will be adding further momentum to the surge in freight movement trading through Iraq as the country rebuilds, following the launch of its new service to Basra on 2 February. 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 bellyholds of its Airbus A330-200 passenger aircraft, 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 service is operated four times a week and will also serve the Iraqi diaspora, with goods traveling in the other direction – to the likes of the US, 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 VP, 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,” Menen added. “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.” 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 1 June and 1 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. In the 2009-10 financial year, Emirates SkyCargo carried 1.6 million tonnes of cargo, an improvement of 12.2 per cent over the year’s previous 1.4 million tonnes. Cargo revenue, at AED 6.3 billion (US$ 1.7 billion), including mail and courier, contributed 17.2 percent of the airline’s total transport revenue.