Emirates SkyCargo has operated the 500th passenger freighter flight serviced by Rickenbacker Airport (LCK), Columbus, Ohio, on 1 April 2021. Emirates also operated the 501st passenger flight to the airport, EK 9909, which arrived just two hours later at LCK airport. Both flights, operated by Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER mini-freighters, transported PPE and other essential cargo.
Emirates SkyCargo was the first air cargo carrier to operate a passenger freighter – a passenger aircraft operating a cargo-only flight – on 28 May 2020, to Rickenbacker airport. Over the last 10 months, the carrier has operated more than 200 passenger freighter cargo flights to the airport.
“Emirates would like to extend its heartiest congratulations to Rickenbacker Airport on its passenger freighter milestone, and we are delighted to have operated both the first and the 500th passenger freighter flights to the airport. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of air cargo connectivity in delivering essential goods such as PPE rapidly to communities, and Rickenbacker Airport, a strategic partner for Emirates SkyCargo in North America. We are grateful to the entire team at LCK, which has been extremely responsive and supportive of our requests over the last year,” said Hiran Perera, Emirates Senior Vice President, Cargo Planning & Freighters.
“This significant milestone would not be possible without our strong partnership with Emirates SkyCargo, which has served the greatest number of these flights into Rickenbacker Airport,” said Joseph R. Nardone, President & CEO of the Columbus Regional Airport Authority. “We are grateful for their faith in what we call the Rickenbacker Advantage-our ability to move airfreight faster than other global gateways.”
Emirates SkyCargo was one of the first air cargo carriers in the world to start using passenger aircraft for cargo-only operations, addressing the critical shortfall of cargo capacity for transportation of PPE, medical equipment, and pharmaceuticals worldwide during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the airline has operated more than 27.800 cargo-only flights on its passenger aircraft, including on 16 mini freighters. Over 100,000 tonnes of essential cargo, including PPE and, more recently, COVID-19 vaccines, have been transported on these flights to Emirates SkyCargo’s network spanning six continents.
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