New all-cargo service between China and UK
04 / 05 / 2023
Source: Cargo First
Airline European Cargo and Shenzhen Sharing Express Logistic-Tech (SSELT) have launched an all-cargo service between China and the UK to target e-commerce volumes.
The new service will operate between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and Bournemouth Airport utilising European Cargo’s 70-tonne capacity converted Airbus A340 aircraft.
The flights will initially operate three-times-per week but there are hopes to increase to five times per week in the future.
Bournemouth Airport said that the new route has received support from the China Council for the Promotion of National Trade and China Post, bolstering international connectivity for the Chengdu region and offering a fast and reliable solution for south west China’s cross-border e-commerce sellers to reach the UK market.
SSELT is also targeting UK exporters on return legs.
The airport said that the lack of congestion and the fact its Cargo First business controls process, airside and landslide means shipments can get to customer warehouses in half the time of going through a London hub airport.
Bournemouth Airport managing director Steve Gill, said: “Working with European Cargo we’ve proven Bournemouth as a viable alternative gateway to London and the UK south east for commercial air cargo.
“Cross border e-commerce continues to experience strong growth and we are seeing a lot of providers like SSELT scouting for alternatives to the London hubs because they want airports that can handle that growth into the future.”
European Cargo chief executive David Kerr added: “We have extensive experience of the China market and this new route from Chengu to Bournemouth establishes an exciting new trade corridor that ensures the timely delivery of e-commerce goods from south west China to UK consumers.
“It also creates significant opportunities for UK exports back to China and is among a range of potential routes that we are looking to grow.”
European Cargo’s A340 aircraft have been converted with a bespoke in-cabin pod containment system to add to belly capacity, but do not have a cargo door. It expects up to six conversions this year with a further pipeline in 2024.
In the last few months, the freighters have received certification from both EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK.
European Cargo receives EASA certification for Airbus A340 freighter conversion programme