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Emirates SkyCargo completes first paperless flight

All cargo on Mauritius-Dubai flight was processed electronically.
Emirates SkyCargo is committed to taking paper out of air freight processes.
Emirates SkyCargo is committed to taking paper out of air freight processes.

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Emirates SkyCargo recently marked a major milestone with its inaugural paperless flight.

EK702, from Mauritius to Dubai, became the first flight on its global network to operate with a hold filled entirely with shipments which had been processed electronically.

The Boeing 777-300ER, with a belly-hold capacity of 23 tonnes, transported a diverse load, including bank notes, flowers, fruits such litchis, clothing, textiles and courier items.

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.

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates airline, is on track to meet the 2014 target.

“We firmly believe e-freight will become the industry standard and those who embrace the changes first will be best placed to reap those benefits,” said Ram Menen, Emirates’ divisional senior vice president, cargo. “It is with great pride then that we are celebrating our first e-freight flight, which will act as a catalyst across our global network of 109 destinations.

“This marks a significant step towards working in a completely electronic environment, which will bring enhanced operational efficiency to the supply chain, streamlining processes, increasing speed and reducing costs. By reducing paper and the carriage of paper on aircraft, e-freight will improve reliability, increase accuracy and, of course, bring environmental benefits.”

Emirates launched its Mauritius service in September 2002 and cargo capacity was increased to 188 tonnes per week each way when connections to the island were extended to nine flights per week in June 2009.

“A tremendous level of co-operation and coordination was required to make this flight happen so great credit must go the numerous stakeholders, from freight forwarders to ground handlers, shippers and customs authorities,” said Michael Harmon, Emirates’ cargo manager, Mauritius and Seychelles.

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