Emirates SkyCargo transported close to a quarter of Sri Lanka’s total air exports in 2017-18 including fresh seafood, flowers, fruit and vegetables.
According to figures released by the Colombo office of the airline, its freight division transported 27,000 tonnes of cargo from Colombo in 2017-18, a significant 23 per cent of the 118,000 tonnes of goods the island exported by air in the year.
With 28 flights from and into Colombo weekly, and the capacity to carry approximately 20 tonnes of cargo in the belly hold of each Boeing 777 aircraft.
Fish, fruit and vegetables, flowers and other cut foliage and readymade garments are among the principal exports that Emirates SkyCargo transports from Sri Lanka to markets around the world.
Emirates cargo manager Sri Lanka & Maldives, Kapila Santhapriya said: “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 USA and Europe.”
“Our flight frequencies and our global network reach from Colombo support the local fish and seafood exports industry,” he added.
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 USA. Sri Lankan exports of fish are valued at close to $250 million.
The carrier moved 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, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Seychelles.
Emirates SkyCargo also moved 11,000 tonnes of general cargo in 2017-18.
During the financial year 2017-18, the air cargo carrier transported a total of over 2.6 million tonnes of cargo across its global network.