Etihad Airways signs MoU for UAE-China air cargo

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Etihad Airways and Henan Province Airport Group have signed an air cargo MoU. Photo: Etihad Airways

Etihad Airways and Henan Province Airport Group plan to establish a strategic partnership that will boost air cargo business between the UAE and China.

The national airline of the UAE and the parent company of Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that contains plans for Etihad’s potential operation of regular cargo freighter services between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and CGO to create the “Air Silk Road” between Henan Province and the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The MOU also covers the scope of cooperation between the two parties to build CGO into an air freight hub in the region, and to diversify product sales and cargo distribution channels at the airport.

Martin Drew, senior vice president sales and cargo at Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad is very excited to see the potential to further expand its cargo footprint in China, and to create the ‘Air Silk Road’ between the emirate and Central China together with Henan Province Airport Group.”

Driven by the huge demand for medical supplies during the pandemic, Etihad Airways said Etihad Cargo has restored 90% of its destinations compared with before the pandemic in the same period in 2019, while its capacity has increased by 20%.

Kang Xingzhen, chairman of Henan Airport Group, added the MoU will enable the exploration of “various opportunities under the ‘Air Silk Road’ aviation initiative inspired by the China-proposed ‘Belt and Road Initiative.”

The MOU was signed during the virtual “Zhengzhou Week” event beginning December 27 and hosted by Expo 2020 Dubai China Pavilion.

In November, Etihad Cargo signed an agreement with SpeedCargo to utilise the Singapore-based provider’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) products to boost cargo capacity on flights.

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