Emirates SkyCargo has started freighter flights to Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), the first international scheduled cargo service to the Midwest gateway.
The Dubai-based airline will operate scheduled and ad-hoc flights to the gateway with a combination of Boeing 777-F full freighter and Boeing 777-300ER ‘preighter’, complenting existing services through the main city gateway, Chicago O’Hare and Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus.
Emirates divisional senior vice president Nabil Sultan said the new route would add “yet more connectivity to further boost trade between the US Midwest and the rest of the world.”
Executive director of Chicago Rockford International Airport, Mike Dunn, added: “Securing our first international scheduled airline air cargo service with a major global airline like Emirates marks a major milestone in the history of our airport.”
He thanked the team at Emirates for “the tremendous amount of hard work, professionalism and commitment they have shown in making this project happen. I also want to thank my cargo team and the team at Emery Air for stepping up and coming through a rigorous compliance process. We have all been on a long journey to get to this point, but is a journey that is now really only just beginning and where we look forward to developing a long-term relationship with Emirates.
“This exciting new air cargo service will provide added choice for importers and exporters looking to ship into and out of the Chicago Midwest market and wider catchment area, where this new network combination of Emirates and RFD can play a vital role in providing the flexibility, cost savings and efficiencies air cargo shippers are looking for as we enter a new era of air cargo operations.”
Rockford International is 68 miles northwest of Chicago O’Hare Airport and is the 17th largest cargo airport in North America. Currently, fifteen international airlines serve destinations around the world and the Airport is also home to UPS’ second largest hub in north America and is a major base for Amazon Air.