Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central welcomed Cathay Pacific’s first freighter flight on Saturday. The first Cathay Pacific CX061 Boeing 747-8 freighter took off from Hong Kong and arrived at DWC on 1 February 2014. The milestone event was celebrated by a traditional water salute upon the freighter’s arrival at the airport.
The event marked the beginning of the move of Cathay Pacific’s seven weekly freighter service from Dubai International (DXB) to DWC. Cathay Pacific will use DWC as its new freighter hub in the Middle East to connect Europe and Asia. The airline’s 14 weekly passenger flights will still be operating from Dubai International.
Ali Angizeh, Vice President of Cargo & Logistics at Dubai Airports, said, “Cathay Pacific is a major freight carrier with a global network and their arrival at Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central will boost the airport’s growing reputation as up and coming global hub. Airlines at DWC enjoy unique advantages including the bonded-road connection to Jebel Ali port and free zone and we are confident Cathay Pacific will make the most of these assets.”
Cathay Pacific Country Manager for UAE and Qatar, Brian Yuen said: “Dubai is an important market for us and we are excited to receive our first flight into DWC. By moving our freighter operation to DWC and keeping our passenger flights at DXB, we can offer forwarders and shippers with even more choice and flexibility to use the Cathay Pacific service.”
Cathay Pacific Cargo currently flies to 44 freighter destinations with a fleet of 26 Boeing 747 freighters, 13 of which are the more fuel efficient B747-8 freighters, with one more on order for delivery in 2016. The airline also utilises cargo space on its 114 passenger aircraft. The cargo unit carries more than 120,000 tonnes of cargo per month, more than half of which is uplifted on passenger flights.