Emirates SkyCargo enjoys a bountiful year in Sri Lanka, with total cargo volumes through Colombo up 23 per cent year-on-year, to 27,000 tonnes in 2017-18.
With 28 flights from and into Colombo weekly, and the capacity to carry approximately 20 tonnes of cargo in the belly hold of each B777 passenger aircraft, Emirates SkyCargo is one of the main carriers of Sri Lanka’s trade.
Edible fish, fruit and vegetables, flowers and other cut foliage and readymade garments are among the principal exports that SkyCargo transports from Sri Lanka to markets around the world.
An important volume of Sri Lankan exports are perishables and Emirates SkyCargo highlights its specialised air transport solutions under the ‘Emirates Fresh’ umbrella that help maintain the freshness of the goods being transported, as well as state of the art cool chain facilities at its hub in Dubai.
“In 2017-18, Emirates SkyCargo carried more than 7,500 tonnes of fish, which is about 40 per cent of the 17,500 tonnes of edible fish that Sri Lanka exported to US and Europe,” said Kapila Santhapriya, Emirates cargo manager Sri Lanka & Maldives.
“Our flight frequencies and our global network reach from Colombo support the local fish and seafood exports industry,” he adds. The types of fish exported on Emirates SkyCargo include tuna, shrimp, prawns, crabs, and lobster to markets including the UK, France, Italy, Netherlands and the US. Overall Sri Lankan exports of fish are valued at close to USD 250 million.
In addition to seafood, Emirates SkyCargo also transported 5,000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables from the country during the last financial year. The commodities included banana, papaya, pineapple, seasonal fruits like mangosteen (May –September) and Rambutan (May – August), bitter gourd, green chillies, drumstick, snake gourd, and red onion.
One of the main export markets for fruits and vegetables from Sri Lanka is the Middle East. Other markets include the Maldives, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Seychelles.
The carrier also transported some 11,000 tonnes of general cargo during the year.
During the financial year 2017-18, the air cargo carrier transported a total of over 2.6 million tonnes of cargo.