Etihad Cargo & SF Airlines Boost China Air Services, Adding Shenzhen Route

Tailplanes of Etihad Cargo and SF Airlines aircraft together.
Image Credit: Etihad Cargo

Etihad Cargo, the air cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, has significantly bolstered its partnership with China’s SF Airlines. The partnership will boost flight frequencies and add a Shenzhen service.

This expansion aims to improve cargo connectivity and capacity between China, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and various global destinations.

Increased Frequencies and New Route

The collaboration will see a notable increase in flight frequencies between Etihad Cargo’s Abu Dhabi hub and SF Airlines’ hub in Ezhou, China.

Starting July 15th, 2024, Etihad Cargo will operate two dedicated freighters on this route, while SF Airlines will add an additional freighter.

This will bring the total number of weekly flights between the two hubs to five. Furthermore, a new weekly freighter service will be launched between Shenzhen and Abu Dhabi.

This adds a fifth gateway city to Etihad Cargo’s Chinese network, strategically leveraging Shenzhen Bao’an International Airport.

This is China’s third-largest cargo hub and a consistent top-20 global cargo airport by volume since 2021.

Members of Ezhou Airport and Etihad Cargo stand in front of an air cargo freighter.
Photo Credit: Etihad Cargo

Enhanced Capacity and Strategic Significance

The combined effect of these expanded frequencies and the new Shenzen route will provide a significant capacity boost of over 200 tonnes per week.

This brings the total weekly capacity offered through the partnership to a substantial 630 tonnes.

Stanislas Brun, Vice President Cargo of Etihad Cargo, emphasized the importance of the partnership. “This year marks a significant milestone – the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the UAE.”

“Etihad Cargo is proud to play a role in strengthening these ties. By expanding this strategic partnership with SF Airlines, we offer our partners and customers superior access to key markets in China, the UAE, and across our extensive global network.”

“This collaboration, further enhanced by the Belt and Road Initiative, presents exciting opportunities for deeper cooperation between Etihad Cargo and SF Airlines. It ultimately contributes to the broader economic and strategic goals of both the UAE and China.”

Shimin Gu (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons

Robert Zhang, Commercial Director of SF Airlines, echoed this sentiment, expressing his enthusiasm.

“We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our cooperation with Etihad Cargo to six weekly flights starting in July, marking the one-year anniversary of our successful partnership.”

“Collaborating with Etihad Cargo, a leader in the industry with a robust cargo network from Abu Dhabi to worldwide destinations, provides significant value to our customers.”

“This partnership empowers them to expand their international businesses through more convenient and diverse global transportation options.”

“The collaboration with Etihad Cargo has already yielded impressive results, and I am confident that this strong partnership will significantly enhance the service capabilities of both parties.”

An Etihad Cargo Freighter parked on the tarmac.
Photo Credit: Etihad Cargo

Etihad Cargo’s Extensive China Network

In addition to the two new freighter flights to Ezhou, Etihad Cargo currently offers belly hold capacity through five weekly passenger flights each to Beijing and Shanghai.

They further demonstrate their commitment to the Chinese market with an impressive regional network. It includes seven dedicated freighter flights to Shanghai, two to Guangzhou, and seven to Hong Kong per week.

This extensive network underscores the significant role the Chinese market plays for Etihad Cargo.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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