When Emirates flight EK651 took to the skies from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) on Sunday, July 10, its cargo hold held a unique example of Sri Lankan ingenuity and mechanical proficiency – a racing car designed, developed and built by the students of the University of Moratuwa.
‘D-MORA P1’ was on its way to the iconic Silverstone Circuit – the home of British motorsport – in Northamptonshire, England, to compete in the world’s biggest student motorsport competition, and Emirates SkyCargo was entrusted with ensuring it got there in peak condition.
No stranger to flying Formula I racing cars around the world, Emirates SkyCargo rose to the occasion, handling the precious machine with precision and care. Special vehicle restraining materials used by Emirates for transporting cars were brought down to Colombo for the purpose.
“Everything fell into place beautifully, and the fully-assembled racing car arrived at its destination – Heathrow airport, without a scratch,” said Emirates Cargo Manager Sri Lanka and Maldives Kapila Santhapriya.
“Given the nature of the cargo, there was zero margin for error, and our staff in Colombo led by Cargo Manager Chaminda Perera, as well as the teams in Dubai and London executed the operation of loading the car, transferring it to the London flight and unloading it, perfectly.”
Built by a team of students of the Mechanical Engineering Department of the University of Moratuwa, the 600cc race car, which will weigh 300 kg with the driver, will be one of 156 competitors at ‘Formula Student 2016’ at Silverstone from July 14 to 17.
Emirates SkyCargo is the largest international airline cargo operator in the world with a fleet of 250 aircraft, including 15 dedicated freighters- 13 Boeing 777-Fs and two B747-400ERFs. With an unrivalled route network, the carrier connects cargo customers to over 150 cities in 81 countries on six continents and operates in many of the world’s fastest developing markets.
Emirates, which celebrated 30 years of serving Sri Lanka earlier this year, operates 34 flights a week from Colombo – 27 to Dubai and Malé and a daily service to Singapore. The airline will operate a fifth daily flight from Colombo to Dubai from August 1, 2016.