Emirati Long-Haul Carrier to Ship Aid for Free Into India

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -
Emirates airliners are seen on the tarmac in a general view of Dubai International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (REUTERS/Abdel Hadi Ramahi/File Photo)

Dubai’s long-haul carrier Emirates will begin shipping aid for free into India to help fight a crushing outbreak of the coronavirus, the airline said Sunday.

The offer by Emirates, which has some 95 flights weekly to nine cities, comes as air freight costs have skyrocketed. That’s as air cargo demand has risen to its highest recorded level ever amid the pandemic, which has seen carriers including Emirates fly cargo in otherwise-empty passenger seats.

Emirates made the announcement at Dubai’s International Humanitarian City, already home to a World Health Organization warehouse that’s been crucial to the distribution of medical gear worldwide.

The UAE banned in-bound passenger flights from India in late April, though cargo flights continued and passenger planes return with their seats now empty.