Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, is set to expand its United States cargo network to 11 destinations, when it launches a daily service to Orlando, Florida from September 1.
The Dubai to Orlando route will be served by a Boeing 777-200 LR, which has a belly-hold capacity of up to 17 tonnes of cargo per flight. Emirates SkyCargo also has belly-hold cargo services to San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC, Boston, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.
The new route announcement comes amid a continuing dispute between US-based carriers Delta, American and United and their Gulf competitors over claims by the American airlines they receive more than $40 billion in subsidies from their home governments.
This, they say, has allowed them to lower prices and begin pushing US airlines out of key markets. Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have denied the allegations, saying US carriers have lost market share because of inferior service.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said: “With the addition of Orlando to the Emirates SkyCargo network, we will now serve 11 points across the US, giving us good connectivity to serve our customers both within the country and across our network.
"Last year we carried more than 100,000 tonnes of cargo to and from the United States, facilitating foreign trade and opportunities between the world’s largest economy and markets within our network, mainly in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
“Every week, for example, we carry items such as auto parts out of JFK, lobsters from Boston, oil field equipment from Houston, and aircraft parts from Seattle, among many other types of commodities and products from various points in the US,” he added.
Emirates SkyCargo currently has weekly capacity of 1,690 tonnes in both the belly hold of passenger aircraft and freighter flights out of the US.
It said it expects to carry a range of exports from Orlando including aircraft parts, pharmaceuticals, perfume and colognes and machine parts.