Following suit of Lufthansa, Etihad have also deployed a passenger Boeing 787 full with cargo. After the UAE authorities announced the temporary suspension of passenger aircraft, Etihad has utilised its passenger fleet to complement its Boeing 777 freight fleet.
The passenger turned cargo 787s will operate 34 weekly flights, which will initially serve 10 markets carrying 45 tonnes of cargo. This will ensure vital imports of fruits, vegetables, meat, medical supplies, mail and eCommerce will continue to reach the UAE.
“As the national carrier to the UAE, Etihad is working closely with the UAE government to ensure the country is well served and the needs of the people residing in the UAE are unaffected, while continuing to play our role as a facilitator of global trade between the East and the West,” commented Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, managing director of cargo and logistics at Etihad Aviation Group.
“In the current environment and as per our leadership’s guidance, it is essential these trade lanes remain open, and with the addition on this capacity we are able to serve those constrained markets that face decreased passenger freight operations, offering a strategic cargo lifeline and supporting the continuity of the global trade ecosystem.”