SF Airlines and Etihad Cargo sign mutual agreement

An SF Airlines 747 freighter in flight.
MarcelX42, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Cargo, the logistics offshoot of Etihad Airways, gave a warm Arabic welcome to top leaders from SF Airlines, one of China’s largest cargo airlines to Abu Dhabi to review the ‘reciprocal block space agreement’ between the two carriers announced earlier this year.

The agreement aims to explore business opportunities and expand its outreach on both ends of Abu Dhabi and Beijing respectively. Both see each other countries as strategic locations for business opportunities. 

During the visit, both airlines dove deeper into a more elaborate Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to formalise their commitment to deepen and strengthen relations.

In this case it will mean enhancing and increasing cargo capacity between Asia and the rest of the world through Etihad Cargo’s base in Abu Dhabi.

This will have a positive knock-on effect on the bilateral trade between both countries, strengthening ties between China and the United Arab Emirates. 

Reciprocal Capacity Agreement

In addition to this, earlier in April 2023 Etihad Cargo and SF Airlines inked a reciprocal capacity agreement to connect their networks together. This new agreement is meant to guarantee the space in one another’s flights forwarded by the two carriers.

The new agreement will see the commencement of two weekly freighter services between Abu Dhabi Airport and Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in the province of Hubei.

This will be the fourth Chinese destination chosen by Etihad Cargo’s partners and customers, with more accessibility to 25 Chinese destinations.


This signifies that Etihad is truly committed to the Chinese market, and the diplomatic ties between the two nations are stronger than ever. Destinations flown by Etihad include Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Nanjing.

SF Airlines through the prized agreement has increased its operational footprint in the Middle East and has vastly benefitted from Etihad Cargo’s global network for its products.

Etihad is expanding aggressively in the world of parcel deliveries and forwarding of goods and services around the globe.  

The new MoU was inked on the 16th of June 2023, which officiates the collaboration between Etihad Cargo and SF Airlines, along with their strong commitment to sharing collective and mutual growth and opportunities through its networks via Abu Dhabi and Wuhan air hubs.

China’s first-ever cargo-dedicated airport Ezhou Huahu Airport would also be incorporated into the plan of Etihad Airways to fly there, making the first airline other than SF Airlines to fly to the airport.

  Moreover, the new agreement would also mean Etihad Cargo and SF Airlines will review the schedule of flights between the Emirati capital and Wuhan, and whether there is always room for expansion.

Partner comments

Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer at Etihad Airways, said, “As the national carrier of the UAE, Etihad Airways is committed to supporting Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global logistics and express hub.”

“The agreement between Etihad Airways and SF Airlines will contribute to achieving the Emirate’s ambitious strategic plans. It was a pleasure to welcome such prominent visitors from SF Airlines’ leadership to the country’s capital.”

“Etihad Cargo looks forward to expanding the agreement between the two airlines to not only benefit the partners and customers of both airlines but also broaden the strong ties between the UAE and China.”

Li Sheng, Vice President of SF Group, and Chairman of SF Airlines, said, “Working with Etihad Airways has been a significant milestone and achieved fruitful results. The elevation of two companies ties to a strategic partnership.”

“By expanding this cooperation between SF Airlines and Etihad Airways, we will continue strongly supporting and improving both parties’ service capabilities, and provide global consumers with more convenient and reliable services.”

Abu Dhabi will become even greater and an important strategic location for Chinese companies in the country and the Middle East as a whole. This new agreement ensures that both parties will mutually gain economically and culturally.

By Indy Udol 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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