Cathay Cargo adds Ho Chi Minh City back to freighter network

Photo: Cathay Cargo

Cathay Cargo has resumed Ho Chi Minh City freighter flights after a four-year suspension due to the pandemic.

A flight carried out on April 4 was the first since December 2019. The weekly flight, CX3148, will operate from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam every Thursday, with the freighter first originating from Hong Kong to Hanoi, then routing to Ho Chi Minh City before returning to Hong Kong.

This will supplement Cathay Cargo’s current six freighter flights per week from Hanoi to Hong Kong.

Cathay Pacific has been operating passenger services between Vietnam and Hong Kong since 1949. The very first flight carried a significant amount of cargo, including diplomatic mail as well as seafood and vegetables.

Testament to the significance of the Vietnam market to its global freighter network, Cathay Cargo commenced full freighter services from Ho Chi Minh City and then Hanoi in March 2008.

In 2023, Cathay Cargo shipped an average of almost 2,000 tonnes of cargo from Vietnam every month, of which about 600 tonnes were carried on Cathay Pacific’s twice-daily passenger flights from Ho Chi Minh City.

These comprised mainly garments, footwear, fruits, and live and frozen seafood, headed to key destinations such as Hong Kong, the Chinese Mainland, North East Asia, Australia and North America.

In addition to greater cargo capacity, the resumption of the freighter service will give shippers in Ho Chi Minh City access to Cathay Cargo’s main-deck solutions, namely Cathay Expert for odd-sized shipments, as well as freight designated as Cargo-Aircraft-Only, such as certain dangerous goods.

Regional head of cargo southeast Asia Ashish Kapur said: “We are very excited to welcome our freighter back to Ho Chi Minh City again. With factory activities resuming and air cargo demand picking up, it is timely for us to resume our freighter service from the economic heart of Vietnam.

“Together with our existing twice daily passenger flights serving the city, the addition of our freighter service will give local businesses more choices, especially in terms of our specialised solutions that can be tailored to suit their needs.

“Whether it is the latest fashion wear from the factories, fresh dragon fruit from the farms or live seafood from the ocean, we are committed to partnering with them on their journey to bring the best of Vietnam to Hong Kong and the rest of the world.”

Country manager for Vietnam and Cambodia Nicolas Masse said: “Our dedicated team in Ho Chi Minh City has been eagerly awaiting the resumption of our freighter service. We have been working hard to ensure we are operationally ready on the ground and able to respond quickly to our customers’ needs, whatever they may be. Our team of experts are certainly looking forward to working with our cargo handling agents to deliver the best service to our customers.”

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Rebecca Jeffrey

Rebecca Jeffrey
New to aviation journalism, I joined Air Cargo News in late 2021 as deputy editor. I previously worked for Mercator Media’s six maritime sector magazines as a reporter, heading up news for Port Strategy. Prior to this, I was editor for Recruitment International (now TALiNT International). Contact me on: [email protected]