Emirates hits out at rumours
Gaith Al Gaith, deputy executive director for commercial operations at Emirates, scotched rumours last month that Emirates SkyCargo was to be turned into an independent company.
He said: “There is currently no intention to turn the sector into an independent company, even though an expansion of our cargo fleet is planned."
Gaith added that up to 40 aircraft could be added to its cargo fleet within the next few years.
Senior aviation sources had predicted that Emirates expansion, including a recent US$3.3 billion order for ten Boeing 747-8 freighters, was indicating an intention to launch an independent international cargo company, similar to Lufthansa Cargo.
However, Gaith did not rule out the possibility of becoming independent in the future. He said: “All the options are open in the future, taking into consideration the commercial factors before making a decision to turn Emirates SkyCargo, or any other sector of the group, into an independent company." SkyCargo is a main participant in Emirates' revenues. During the financial year 2005-2006, its share of revenue increased to 21% and reached US$1.2 billion, which is 29% increase of $274 over previous year.
The company currently owns nine Boeing 747F and Airbus A310F wide cargo freighters, and has confirmed orders to acquire eight more Boeing 777F aircraft.
An Emirates official said that studies indicate an annual global growth in the air cargo sector of about 6% during the next two decades, to reach 300% by 2025. The official added that the airline saw there was big potential to employ its capabilities in this growing market, by acquiring the best aircraft to help it excel over its competitors, and to enhance Dubai's position as a main hub for air cargo.