Cargo Aircraft At A Passenger Gate!?

Hey all,

As I was traversing the interesting world of Flight Radar 24, I noticed an interesting flight that I wanted to do. EK9820 from YSSY-VHHH (A cargo flight with the 777F). When I went to look at the playback of the flight I noticed that it left from the terminal and was not sure as to why. I was hoping this knowledgeable community would maybe have a clue as to why this is because I sure don’t.

Here is a picture from the playback on FR24…

I know I could have posted in FR24 findings but I was hoping for a little more discussion. Is this to keep slots through the pandemic?


I believe the reason for that is because there are only about 5 or 6 cargo stands at Sydney, and most of the time they are being used by Fedex or UPS.

Additionally, that may be the regular Emirates gate at Sydney, and because of COVID, less flights are being operated to YSSY, so therefore the company are trying to cut costs by using a gate that is already reserved

Just a few ideas :)


I’m not sure about this scenario but I know that in Chicago we use our hard stands with no gates to park some cargo and passenger planes carrying cargo when we have no available cargo spaces due to the pandemic.

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Very interesting ideas, and now that I consider those it seems less odd to me. To be honest, at first, I thought I was looking at Traning Server FR24 😂

Thinking about it now, I guess I have seen airlines using hardstands at airports like LAX and ORD since the pandemic began. But seeing a cargo aircraft at a gate was new to me. I suppose though what @Aero said in terms of lack of cargo stands at YSSY as well as cost savings it makes sense.

Thank you both for your replies. Very insightful!

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Ever heard of the 747 Combi its both passenger and a Cargo plan which parks at a Passenger gate

Ya I have seen those especially with KLM but this flight was operated with a 777F which has no passenger carrying ability.

Yeah I saw this at Chicago on Flightradar24 as well. Definitely strange to see, but then again, these are strange times.

yeah its very sad to drive by and see all of these large passenger planes parked there unloading cargo.

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In Chicago as well, United sends some of their cargo planes to passenger gates because they only have about 4-5 gates at their cargo ramp

American sends all their cargo planes in and out of their passenger gates

Easy hard stand is used for other cargo planes/short-term storage for Frontier and Spirit

West de-ice pad is used for charter loading/unloading sometimes, but not much for cargo. That’s also where planes were stored at the beginning of the pandemic

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Was this a 777F, or could it have actually been a passenger 777? Emirates has been operating a large number of these new cargo flights, where passenger aircraft fly with empty cabins and full bellies, and most of the airlines doing these flights are sending to passenger gates.

Airlines have contracts with airports about what terminals and gates the airline will operate out of, and Covid doesn’t change that. Passenger airlines with passenger aircraft operate out of passenger terminals that are equipped to handle passenger aircraft, and not carrying passengers doesn’t change that.

Neither have dedicated cargo planes (although United has created a subfleet of 772s called 77Fs which cannot carry passengers anymore, only cargo, because they poured some concrete in the back for W/B purposes), but this is an example of what I’m talking about. Also, with the surge in cargo traffic, there is absolutely no space on cargo ramps to hold passenger planes, so they wouldn’t go there anyways.

In fact, if this was actually a 777-200F, that would be the explanation. It’s very unusual, but not unheard of, and this would be the reason why.

Emirates SkyCargo 777F registered A6-EFK according to FlightRadar24


Yea, I was referring to the preighter planes they have

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