Emirates SkyCargo has become a leader in Sri Lankan exports, transporting 23 percent – 27,000 tons – of the island’s total of 118,000 tons in exports in its 2017-18 fiscal year.
Sri Lanka is a major exporter of fruits, vegetables, flowers and seafood, which are in demand all over the world, from Northern Europe to Southeast Asia to East Africa. In 2017-18, Emirates SkyCargo carried more than 7,500 tons of fish and shellfish – about 40 percent of the 17,500 tonnes of seafood that Sri Lanka exported – to the United States and Europe, specifically to the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the Netherlands.
The Middle East is one of the main import markets of fruits and vegetables from Sri Lanka. The Maldives, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Seychelles are also regular importers of the country’s fresh produce.
The airline has become a prominent carrier of perishable cargo. Its “Emirates Fresh” services are underpinned by its temperature-controlled facilities in its Dubai hub (DXB), a 4.5-hour flight from Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) in Colombo, and its pharma corridor system, launched in January, which links destinations in its network with strict end-to-end temperature control.
The carrier operates 28 flights per week in and out of CMB, carrying 20 tons per flight in the belly of its 777 passenger aircraft. It operates a fleet of 257 widebody passenger aircraft and 14 freighters.