Qatar Cargo restarts bellyhold operations to China

By Damian Brett

Qatar Airways Cargo will resume scheduled bellyhold cargo operations to China with the utilisation of its passenger aircraft to six cities.

The additional cargo capacity is being added to the carrier’s existing freighter service amid “increased demand for the shipment of immediate goods in and out of the region”.

The bellyhold cargo flights will be operated on a turnaround basis assuming the routes’ previously assigned flight numbers and frequencies, without any cabin crew members or passengers on-board.

The six cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Hangzhou.  With an additional 600 tonnes of weekly capacity added, it brings Qatar’s combined weekly capacity out of the country to more than 1,300 tonnes.

Qatar Cargo said the decision to reinstate bellyhold service to six of its passenger destinations in the country is “in line with airline’s initiative to continue supporting worldwide connectivity, re-establishing the global supply chain, and meeting the market’s strong demand for freight exports and imports”.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: “We are pleased to resume bellyhold cargo operations to China where the Covid-19 pandemic has been significantly contained and industrial production is restoring nationwide.

“In addition to our dedicated freighter service, the extra bellyhold availability leveraging the flexibility and reliability of our fleet will greatly enhance our cargo handling capacity in China to support market’s soaring demand for imports and exports, including the urgent outbound shipment of essential commodities, fresh produce, food products, and large proportion of medical supplies to other parts of the world that are currently facing the public health crisis.”

The move comes after China’s announced last week that it would boost the nation’s international airfreight capabilities, stabilise supply chains and enhance cooperation with global airlines.

Qatar Airways is the first Middle Eastern carrier to resume bellyhold operations to all of its destinations in China.

“With the upgraded capacity, more vital medical supplies and exports destined for the Middle East, Europe and the Americas will be flown by Qatar Airways’ efficient network via a seamless stopover at the cargo carrier’s world-class Doha hub,” the airline said.

*Flight Timetable (Cargo Only)

Aircraft type Route Frequency Start Date
B777-300ER DOH-PEK-DOH 7 weekly flights 30-Mar-20
B777-300ER DOH-CAN-DOH 7 weekly flights 31-Mar-20
B777-300ER DOH-PVG-DOH 7 weekly flights 31-Mar-20
B777-300ER DOH-CTU-DOH 3 weekly flights 31-Mar-20
B777-300ER DOH-HGH-DOH 4 weekly flights 01-Apr-20
B777-300ER DOH-CKG-DOH 3 weekly flights 01-Apr-20

*Subject to government approvals

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