As the world prepares to mark this year’s World Food Day on October 16th 2020, themed, “Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our actions are our future”, Emirates SkyCargo is proud to have maintained a supply chain for food and other perishables in this period of COVID-19 pandemic.
With COVID-19 and the disruption to international passenger aviation, the supply chain for food products was put into risk of disruption. However, Emirates SkyCargo worked very quickly to restore its international cargo connectivity, growing its network from just around 35 destinations on its freighter aircraft at the end of March to more than 130 destinations by early October on its freighter as well as passenger aircraft. Currently around 500 tonnes of food items are transported every day in the cargo hold of Emirates aircraft across the world.
As a socially responsible carrier, Emirates SkyCargo has ensured that adequate cargo capacity remains available on its widebody aircraft during the COVID-19 pandemic for the transport of urgent medical supplies as well as food items. By doing this, the air cargo carrier is able to help countries and supermarkets maintain their food supplies and at the same time help farmers reliant on food exports continue to make their livelihoods in these challenging times.
Consumers across the world have integrated international ingredients and produce into their daily diets for taste and nutritional reasons. Members of international diaspora also look for comfort food offerings from their home countries in supermarket shelves. With Emirates SkyCargo’s global network and flight schedule, food items from diverse origins retain their freshness as they are rapidly transported to their final destinations and the dining tables of consumers.
Emirates SkyCargo’s first freighter flight took off from Guadalajara, Mexico, on the 2nd of October, and the growth of export markets over the last decade has also provided a boost to farming communities and agriculture in the various production markets. Emirates SkyCargo’s flights provide a quick and direct connection for farmers and exporters of food items to their international end customers, thereby supporting their livelihoods and the local economy.
With every new destination, Emirates SkyCargo opens up one more potential trade lane for food products across the world. As an example, Emirates SkyCargo, through its direct flights, helped create a market for tropical fruits from Vietnam in the Middle East and exports of these products increased nearly five-fold in just one year in 2017.