100% e-freight flight for Emirates

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, has marked a milestone with its inaugural 100 per cent paperless freighter flight between Nairobi and Amsterdam. EK9952, which left Nairobi for Amsterdam on 27 March, became the first flight out of Nairobi with shipments processed electronically. The B747 freighter carried 103,884 tonnes of cut flowers to […]


Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, has marked a milestone with its inaugural 100 per cent paperless freighter flight between Nairobi and Amsterdam. EK9952, which left Nairobi for Amsterdam on 27 March, became the first flight out of Nairobi with shipments processed electronically. The B747 freighter carried 103,884 tonnes of cut flowers to Amsterdam, the main market for Kenyan flowers. Speaking in Nairobi, Emirates Airline cargo manager for East Africa, Khalid Al Hinai, emphasised the significance of this achievement and Emirates’ leadership role in spearheading the e-freight agenda both regionally and globally. “It is with great pride that we are celebrating our first e-freight flight out of Nairobi,” said Al Hinai. “This is the first time a full freighter had been attempted and achieving this marks a significant step towards working in a completely electronic environment, which will bring IT & EQUIPMENT enhanced operational efficiency to the supply chain.” “It took great efforts from the teams in Nairobi and Amsterdam to make this flight happen so credit goes to all stakeholders – from freight forwarders to ground handlers, shippers and customs authorities,” he added. E-freight is a collective cargo industry initiative spearheaded by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), with the goal of removing all paper air waybills, as well as every other document and certificate, by the end of 2014. The initiative has been slow to take off and faced substantial opposition from freight forwarders who, in many cases must make technology investments, but say they stand to reap little of the cost savings which will mainly accrue to the carriers. Ram Menen, Emirates divisional senior VP Cargo, said the adoption of the e-freight system would help the airline streamline processes, increase speed and reduce costs. IATA has estimated that about US$4.9 billion of industry savings could be generated and about 7,800 tonnes of paper documents eliminated annually using the e-freight corridor. “We totally support this initiative and firmly believe e-freight will become the industry standard and those who embrace the changes first will be best placed to reap those benefits which also include improved reliability, increased accuracy and, of course, bring environmental benefits,” said Menen. The Nairobi e-freight freighter flight to Amsterdam follows a successful paperless flight from Mauritius in late 2010 and is an indication of Emirates’ determination to meet the IATA 2014 target, the Dubai-based carrier said. Fifty one of the 111 cities Emirates SkyCargo serves are e-freight compliant.