Etihad Cargo has announced the addition of five new routes which it will service using Etihad Airways’ passenger aircraft to increase the flow of essential supplies into the UAE and further provide east-west connectivity between major markets.
Using bellyhold capacity on a mix of Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft, the carrier is introducing services between Abu Dhabi and Melbourne, Chennai, Kerala, Karachi, and Amsterdam. This is in addition to passenger freighters already operating cargo-only flights to 10 destinations– Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Riyadh.
The new routes will ensure continuity of fresh imports into the UAE including fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and seafood, in addition to pharmaceuticals and medical supplies as the nation continues to take measures to ensure food security and national health as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Managing Director- Cargo and Logistics at Etihad Aviation Group said, “In accordance with the mandate from our country’s leadership to preserve the well-being and safety of the citizens and residents in the UAE, Etihad Cargo is pleased to play a leading role in continuing to deliver essential supplies to the UAE, in this unprecedented environment.”
Etihad Cargo has also operated a series of special charters to carry urgent consignments of medical supplies from mainland China and Hong Kong to destinations in Europe and the Americas.
The carrier is working closely with government authorities to provide such consignments, having recently operated dedicated cargo charters to Serbia, Greece, Chad, Malaysia, Kazakhstan and Italy.
“We are also playing our part in supporting international requirements for essential freight, carrying significant consignments of goods between other nations,” Mohamed Shadid added.
Etihad Airways has suspended majority of its passenger flights in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak leading to subsequent travel bans. The airline, however, continues to fly a small number of daily outbound flights, repatriating non-UAE citizens. From April 5 – 21, 2020, the carrier is flying to Seoul, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Amsterdam, and Melbourne. All of its other passenger flights, particularly those to, from and via Abu Dhabi, have been suspended until further notice.