YTO Express Airlines reveals international ambitions

Recently launched YTO Express Airlines has revealed the extent of its global ambitions after its chairman unveiled plans for widebody freighter orders that will be used to create international services.
Chairman of express firm YTO, Yu Weijiao, told China Daily that the airline would order at least three widebody freighters for delivery in 2018.
Yu said there was increasing demand for fast and efficient international express services between Chinese manufacturers and foreign buyers.
Potential markets identified by Yu for the deployment of the aircraft were Africa, the Middle East and South America.
The airline conducted its maiden flight in September when a Boeing 737-300 aircraft flew between Hangzhou and Chengdu.
The express airline has a total of three B737-300s and also charters five other freighters flying on domestic routes.
The airline hopes to open up the e-commerce industry to Hangzhou and the wider Zhejiang province.
It is also hoped the move will help establish Hangzhou as a regional courier and logistics hub.
YTO is also one of the launch customers for Boeing’s narrowbody 737-800 converted freighter programme, with a firm order for 10 of the aircraft and options for 10 more.
YTO Express was the third Chinese express company to also own and operate an airline, joining China Postal and SF Express.
However, new cargo airline China Air Cargo Corp recently placed an order for 757-200 freighters while Cargolux also has plans for a joint venture China-based airline.
YTO holds a 90% share with two individuals taking a total of 10%, while e-commerce firm Alibaba owns a stake in the express company.

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