Etihad expands cargo operation using passenger aircraft

Etihad expands cargo operation using passenger aircraft

Etihad expands cargo operation using passenger aircraft. The airline is using its passenger aircraft for cargo service. This comes after Etihad had suspended its operation late last month and had grounded most of its fleet.

The airline had announced last month it will be using its fleet of B787 in addition to freighter aircraft. This expansion of cargo operation is to aid the global supply of essential commodities. Fellow airline Emirates is also using its B777-300ER passenger aircraft for cargo services.


Etihad to use passenger aircraft

Etihad is expanding its cargo operations by using its B787 aircraft for the same alongside B777F. The airline is able to do this as around 100 of its aircraft is grounded. The airline had said last month it will use its fleet of B787-10 to operate 34 weekly flights to 10 markets initially.

Etihad expands cargo operation using passenger aircraft
Etihad Airways will use its B787 and B777 for cargo operations. Photo: Etihad

The aircraft will provide capacity for 12 lower deck pallets and 4 containers adding up to carry upto 45 tons of payload. It would initially operate to India, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, South Korea and Indonesia where borders are open for cargo operations.

“As the national carrier to the UAE, Etihad is working closely with the UAE government to ensure the country is well served and the needs of the people residing in the UAE are unaffected, while continuing to play our role as a facilitator of global trade between the East and the West.”

Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Managing Director Cargo and Logistics at Etihad Aviation Group has said in a statement

The airline is also had said it set to increase frequencies to London, Riyadh, Shanghai and Hong Kong to aid imports into UAE.


Global expansion

Etihad Cargo is set to expand after initially announcing last month that it would be using its passenger aircraft for cargo services. Additional routes using its passenger aircraft are to Melbourne, Chennai, Kerala, Karachi and Amsterdam from its hub at Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Cargo B777F A6-DDE
Etihad Cargo operates a fleet of 5xB777F aircraft. Photo: Etihad

These routes will be flown using a mix of its B777 and B787 aircraft. These routes are in addition to the passenger aircraft operating cargo services to Seoul, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore, Manila, Jakarta, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Riyadh.

These flights are operated to ensure imports of goods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, medical supplies and mail into UAE. The airline also operated charter flights to carry medical supply from China and Hong Kong to Europe and America.

There is a total turnaround of 90 flights a week to 29 destinations in 5 continents using its B777 and B787.


Etihad Cargo is expanding its operations on a global scale to aid in keeping the supply chain of essential commodities running smoothly. Like its fellow carrier Emirates, Etihad is also using its passenger aircraft for cargo operations.

This is essential for the airline as it enables the airline to make profit by operating these routes as well as flying aircraft which are grounded which is very important at a time when airlines are facing a financial crisis.

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