Etihad Cargo to end mini-freighters to China as flights ramp up

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Photo: Etihad Cargo

Etihad Cargo will end its mini-freighter flights to China as it continues to ramp up its passenger network to the country with the introduction of 15 direct passenger and freighter flights per week.

Throughout the pandemic, Etihad Cargo continued to operate direct routes into China, providing cargo capacity via a fleet of “modified mini freighters”.

With the resumption of passenger flights and a schedule of freighter flights, the mini freighters will be taken out of rotation, the airline said.

From July onwards it will expand operations, focusing exclusively on direct passenger flights and dedicated Boeing 777F freighter flights.

In addition to cargo capacity on passenger flights, Etihad Cargo also operates B777F flights daily for Shanghai and six times per week for Hong Kong, bringing the total cargo capacity into and out of China to 2,708 tonnes per week.

Martin Drew, senior vice president global sales & cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, said: “As the Chinese market starts to recover from Covid challenges and zero-Covid restrictions are lifted, Etihad is pleased to resume its passenger operations to Beijing and reaffirm our commitment to Etihad Cargo customers with the introduction of capacity on key trade lanes. These flights will connect China to the Middle East, Europe and the rest of the world via Etihad Cargo’s hub in Abu Dhabi.

“China is a critical strategic market for Etihad Cargo, and the direct flights between the two capital cities and other major destinations will further strengthen the comprehensive strategic partnership between the United Arab Emirates and China.”

Etihad Cargo recently announced its summer schedule, which introduced capacity to key destinations across Asia, Africa and Europe. In addition to adding direct flights into and out of Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, the carrier will continue to operate its Boeing 777 freighter network with flights across Chicago, Dhaka, Frankfurt, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesburg, Kenya, Milan and Riyadh.

Etihad Cargo to provide more capacity this summer

Etihad Cargo reports continued growth in online sales

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