Seeing a Boeing 777-300ER which has been retrofitted to carry cargo is no longer a rarity at Zurich Airport. Since May 2020, SWISS has refurbished three of its 777s, which have had all seats removed in the Economy class cabin. These so-called CARRY flights (CARgo in cabin with Removed Y-class seats) allow Swiss WorldCargo to carry up to 36% more cargo, or about 12 tons of additional capacity, on every flight.
Initially, a special permission granted by the Swiss Federal Aviation authorities only allowed for the transportation of medical and humanitarian supplies within the cabin. However, as demands for all types of cargo have continued to increase over the months, Swiss WorldCargo applied for an additional FOCA permission, which would allow also the transportation of commercial cargo in the cabin. This was granted, although it does require certain caveats – such as additional airport handling competencies, and as on all our flights, SWISS staff to monitor all shipments on-board.
Beginning the week of July 27, Swiss WorldCargo began to transport commercial goods within the cabin. This encompasses a wide array of materials, but might include fashion/apparel, garments, fabrics, glassware, perishables, spare and similar materials. The first flight, which carried these materials landed in Zurich on Monday, 27 July: HB-JNJ departed Dubai on Sunday night at 01:25, returning to Zurich on Monday, 27 July at 06:25 with a cabin load full of fashion.
The flight, which landed in Zurich on Monday, July 27, is one of a series of flights which have been planned together with SAT Albatros, a leading Sea-Air specialist based in Dubai, which has a set amount of capacity booked on each of these flights. With the remaining capacity, SWISS can also carry out shipments for other customers and remain relevant within the local market.
Through their strategic focuses, SAT Albatros has developed to an important strategic partner for Swiss WorldCargo in Dubai. In recent months, both companies have looked at synergies to ensure a continued, effective supply chain. They initially partnered to first ship medical equipment, a direction which has changed in recent weeks. With the reopening of various European economics, SAT Albatros’ most recent shipments have shifted to commercial goods such as fashion apparel.
Dubai is an important market for Swiss WorldCargo. Traditionally, Dubai has always been important as it is both a hub for sea, as well as air-freight. With its strategic location within the Middle East, it is an important connection point for the transportation of goods throughout the world – to and from Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Together with SAT Albatros, Swiss WorldCargo is able to play a role within the part of this diverse supply chain. Materials often originate in Asia and are transported to the Middle East by sea, after which Swiss WorldCargo can carry out the next part of the journey via air. This ensures that many items – specifically within the luxury, valuable and intensive care commodities segment – can effectively and quickly be shipped to and from Europe.
“Our partnership with SAT Albatros has been excellent, and is truly reflective of the diverse Dubai market. We are happy to welcome them onboard” said Omar Bragatto, project manager responsible for these shipments in Zurich, and former lead in the Dubai office. “With our regular CARRY flights between Dubai and Zurich, we are happy to support the regular shipment of diverse freight, including fashion and other luxury items. And with additional space in the cabin, we are able to continue transporting an even higher amount of materials.”
For more information about the Swiss WorldCargo flights, visit swissworldcargo.com.