Emirates to Fly African Perishables to Russia

Russian consumer demand remains high. This all the more so since the supply of agricultural products went down to a small trickle - as a consequence of the Kremlin imposed sanctions on EU exports. A politically induced situation that cargo carriers try to capitalize on. First to react is Dubai’s Emirates Airlines. 

Soon serving Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport – Boeing 777F of Emirats SkyCargo  /  source: EK
Soon serving Novosibirsk Tolmachevo Airport – Boeing 777F of Emirats SkyCargo / source: EK

Every end also marks a new beginning. In this case sanctions-hit imports of salads, tomatoes, apples or porridges stemming from EU member states, which meanwhile have been reduced to a small trickle, will soon be partially substituted by agrarian produce coming from African countries. This could be, provided all works out well and sanctions will endure, the beginning of a profound shift of trade lanes between the southern and the northern hemisphere.   

Taciturn Emirates
The first carrier capitalizing on the Kremlin announced blockade of European agrarian goods is Emirates SkyCargo. The Dubai-based capacity provider has quickly set its foot into the Russian door by adding Novosibirsk to its network. Noteworthy is that EK SkyCargo refrained from announcing the upcoming service, in contrast to the airline’s usual communication strategy. Instead, it was Novosibirsk Airport’s management who spread the word. Here is what they have to say: 
Commencing this fall, EK Cargo intends serving local Tolmachevo airport once a week by deploying one of their Triple Seven freighters on the route Johannesburg-Nairobi-Dubai-Novosibirsk, “a step, we highly appreciate.”

EK partners with SEZ
Largely supported are the upcoming cargo transports of perishables from Kenya to Siberia by suppliers based in one of Kenya’s newly created special economic zones (SEZ), with their association representing the interests of a great number of local Kenyan producers and traders of rural goods. On top of the exporter’s product list to be flown to Novosibirsk, stand vegetables, fruits, seafood and also flowers.
 “It’s for the first time in history that Novosibirsk and the surrounding Siberian Federal District are benefitting from scheduled cargo flights originating in Africa and ending at Tolmachevo,” praises the airport in a statement. Quite understandable, since up to now most of these goods were transited through one of the big European air hubs or flown first to Moscow from where they were further distributed across the vast country.

Increased demand for foodstuff
Both solutions have often enough proven to be quite time-consuming, not infrequently to the detriment of some of the perishables, particularly fresh cut Kenyan flowers.  
Although EK SkyCargo has not even begun serving Novosibirsk, an additional list for products urgently demanded by Siberian consumers has emerged. In the paper, beef, pork, fish, poultry, different dairy products, even nuts and butter are mentioned. They all and even more of EU, U.S. or Australian origin have also been sanctioned by the Kremlin. However, most of these much wanted foodstuffs cannot be flown in from Africa since they are scarce goods there as well.

DFDS stopped one of their Baltic Sea services as reaction to Russia’s ban on EU foodstuff  /  source: DFDS
DFDS stopped one of their Baltic Sea services as reaction to Russia’s ban on EU foodstuff / source: DFDS

DFDS stops Baltic service
Meanwhile, the Danish shipping line DFDS has announced to temporarily terminate their service between Luebeck in northern Germany and Klaipeda in the Baltic until further notice. The enterprise justifies this decision with the Russian embargo on foodstuff coming from western countries. Up to now, DFDS offered three sailing departures per week.

Heiner Siegmund

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