Emirates SkyCargo completes first 100 per cent paperless freighter flight

4 April 2011

NAIROBI, KENYA, 4th April 2011: 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, the Netherlands.

EK9952, which left Nairobi for Amsterdam on March 27th, became the first flight out of Nairobi with shipments processed electronically. The Boeing 747 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, emphasized the significance of this achievement and Emirates’ leadership role in spearheading the e-freight agenda both regionally and globally.  

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Emirates SkyCargo carried more than 100 tonnes of cargo on a freighter between Nairobi and Amsterdam with electronic air waybills last week. It was the first time the carrier had operated a "paperless" freighter.

“It is with great pride that we are celebrating our first e-freight flight out of Nairobi,” said Mr 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 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 continued.

E-freight is a collective cargo industry initiative facilitated by IATA, with the goal of removing all paper air waybills, as well as every other document and certificate, by the end of 2014.

Ram Menen, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President 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 Mr 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.

Fifty one of the 111 cities Emirates SkyCargo serves are e-freight compliant.

Emirates’ 152 -strong fleet including eight freighters (three Boeing 747-400Fs, two 747-400ERFs, one 747-400SF and two 777Fs) is one of the youngest in the skies and now serves 111 destinations in 66 countries on six continents.

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