World

Expanded cargo operation at fast-growing Emirates airline takes off at new Dubai airport

  • An Emirates Airline cargo plane loads goods at the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Emirates, the Mideast’s top airline, has expanded its cargo operation out to Dubai’s new airport as it looks toward the future. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    An Emirates Airline cargo plane loads goods at the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Emirates, the Mideast’s top airline, has expanded its cargo operation out to Dubai’s new airport as it looks toward the future. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • Emirates SkyCentral employees upload goods at their facilities of the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Emirates, the Mideast’s top airline, has expanded its cargo operation out to Dubai’s new airport as it looks toward the future. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Emirates SkyCentral employees upload goods at their facilities of the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Emirates, the Mideast’s top airline, has expanded its cargo operation out to Dubai’s new airport as it looks toward the future. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

  • An employee of Emirates SkyCentral uploads goods at their facilities of the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Emirates, the Mideast’s top airline, has expanded its cargo operation out to Dubai’s new airport as it looks toward the future. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    An employee of Emirates SkyCentral uploads goods at their facilities of the Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Emirates, the Mideast’s top airline, has expanded its cargo operation out to Dubai’s new airport as it looks toward the future. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)  (The Associated Press)

Emirates, the Mideast's top airline, has expanded its cargo operation to Dubai's new airport.

Emirates took journalists on a tour Tuesday of the new Emirates SkyCentral cargo facility at the Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central. While still largely desert, backers envision this second airport will eventually handle more than 200 million passengers per year.

For now, officials say the new Emirates cargo facility handles over 800,000 tons of cargo a year, some from the airline's 15 freighter aircraft and the rest coming from the holds of its passenger planes.

Though 77 kilometers (48 miles) from the busy Dubai International, Emirates says cargo can travel quickly there by road and be shipped off again without having to go through customs.