Emirates SkyCargo Transport Precious Buddha Statue

Dubai-based Emirates Airlines Freight Division, Emirates SkyCargo, recently completed the second part of a very special transportation of the ancient Gandhara Buddha statue from Zurich in Switzerland to Pakistan.

The 1.7 tonnes statue was flown to Switzerland from Pakistan by Emirates SkyCargo in December 2018, allowing visitors to the Rietberg Museum in Zurich a rare opportunity to come face to face with a colossal statue of Buddha that dates back over 2000 years. This was the first time the statue had ever left Pakistan.

Such a precious cargo required special care by the air cargo carrier to ensure that the monumental statue was not damaged during the transportation. The statue was safely placed in the bellyhold of one of their widebody passenger aircraft, adhering to the strict guidelines outlined under their specialized product for transporting precious goods, Emirates Valuable.

Emirates SkyCargo Commercial Development Manager – Speciality Products, Julius Mooney explained how they needed to think out of the box for this project, “Our standard procedures mention that any precious cargo has to be transported in secure metal door containers. However, for a statue of this size, this was not really an option,” Mr. Mooney continued, “For us the priority was twofold, to ensure that the shipment was handled with utmost care to avoid any damage from impact and of course to ensure the security of the priceless statue. In the end we came up with the simple solution of affixing an Emirates tamper-proof tape on the outer packaging of the wooden crate to make sure that we would not have any tampering of the shipment.”

Emirates SkyCargo completed the first leg of the transport from Peshawar to Zurich in December 2018 and completed the second leg from Zurich in early April 2019.

Emirates Vice President Cargo Commercial – West Asia and South East Asia, Jassim Saif said, “It was a landmark shipment for Emirates SkyCargo. We are delighted that we were able to successfully transport the statue to the exhibition in Zurich. Audiences in Switzerland had an opportunity to become familiar with an important part of Pakistan’s ancient heritage, and Emirates SkyCargo had a part in creating this link between the two countries.”