Abu Dhabi International Airport welcomes first SF Express Flight

Photo: Abu Dhabi Airports

Abu Dhabi Airports has welcomed the first SF Express cargo plane to Abu Dhabi International Airport.

The inaugural flight signalled the launch of operations for the Chinese global freight carrier in the region.

SF Express has partnered with Etihad Cargo and Kerry Logistics in a bid to achieve more reliable service delivery.

The China-based express carrier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Etihad Cargo to link their respective networks.

Jamal Al Dhaheri, managing director and chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports, said: “We are proud to welcome SF Express to Abu Dhabi. This marks a new milestone in our efforts to become a leading cargo and logistics hub in the region.

“We eagerly anticipate further partnerships as we continue our growth journey to establish Abu Dhabi as a major air cargo hub in the region.”

Li Sheng, chairman of SF Airlines, said: “Working with Abu Dhabi Airports will undoubtedly be a significant milestone and we are confident that this partnership will be beneficial for all parties involved. Abu Dhabi Airports is an important cargo hub in the region, and we are eager to work together as we connect and create value for our customers and strengthen our growing network.”

With the commencement of weekly freighter services between Abu Dhabi and Wuhan, Etihad Cargo will offer a total of ten freighter services to China, offering an additional 100 tonnes of cargo capacity into the Hubei Province each week.

Etihad Cargo said the new flights between Abu Dhabi and Wuhan will give Etihad Cargo’s partners and customers greater accessibility to 25 domestic Chinese destinations, including Shenzhen, Dongguan, Hangzhou, Chengdu and Nanjing, via SF Airlines’ road feeder service trucking network.

The airline also offers five passenger flights to Shanghai, Beijing Daxing and Guangzhou each week.

This brings the carrier’s total cargo capacity for China to 1,000 tonnes per week, including 850 tonnes of cargo capacity for Shanghai offered via eight weekly freighter services and two passenger flights.

Martin Drew, senior vice president – global sales & cargo at Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Cargo is fully aligned with the emirate of Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global logistics hub.

“The inaugural SF Express cargo flight’s arrival in Abu Dhabi marks the beginning of a partnership between Etihad Cargo, Abu Dhabi Airports, SF Express and Kerry Logistics that not only supports SF Express’s Middle East expansion plans but also benefits Etihad Cargo’s customers, adding another mega hub gateway in China to Etihad Cargo’s growing global network, further strengthening cooperation between Abu Dhabi and China.”

Abu Dhabi International Airport aims to establish itself as a prime air cargo and logistics hub by forging new strategic partnerships.

Abu Dhabi Airports is the owner and operator of five airports in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Etihad Cargo and SF Airlines link up networks

Freighter number 80 for SF Airlines

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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]