Emirates has announced the appointment of Hiran Perera to the newly-created position of Vice President Cargo - Freighters. In his new role, Mr. Perera will have responsibility for Emirates SkyCargo’s fast-expanding freighter fleet, which has grown from a single Boeing 747F in 1998 to six such aircraft today - two of which entered service in 2004.

In addition, in a move to diversify its operation and enable it to better serve key regional routes with high-density cargo markets, Emirates SkyCargo has purchased three Airbus A310-300F aircraft to join its fleet between June 2005 and January 2006. Two A380-800F super-jumbo aircraft also will be added in 2008, enabling Emirates to carry cargo payloads of up to 150 tons on three decks over distances of up to 10,000kms.

Prior to his new assignment, Mr. Perera had been Manager Cargo Planning and Capacity Development since 2000. In this capacity he was responsible for Emirates’ freighter operation, including the leasing of Boeing 747F aircraft and their operation to a network that now covers more than 20 scheduled destinations and worldwide charter operations. He joined the Emirates Group as a Training Officer for Dnata in 1986, just one year after Emirates Airline took to the skies, and since then worked in a number of roles within Emirates SkyCargo.

“Our freighter fleet is an increasingly important part of our cargo operation and Hiran has played an integral role in its growth,” said Ram Menen, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo. “With his wealth of experience, he was the natural candidate for this new position, which will help us continue to grow our freighter business globally.”