European Cargo has increased services to Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport with the arrival of its third Airbus A340-600 converted freighter, which has 76 tonnes of cargo capacity.
Capacity on the e-commerce route has tripled since it was launched in April with 3 flights a week for Shenzhen Sharing Express Logistic-Tech Ltd.
Increasing the flight frequency to 9 a week gives the service almost 700 tonnes of weekly import capacity.
David Kerr, Chief Executive of European Cargo says that the airline is now the UK’s commercial freighter operator and it has agreements in place throughout 2024.
He says, “Additional capacity coming on stream in the first quarter of 2024 is fully committed to customers looking to enhance their capabilities, deploying the uniquely tailored dual-density freighter solution offered by ECL coupled with the dedicated support of Cargo First’s fulfilment capabilities.”
Steve Gill, Managing Director of Bournemouth Airport says increased frequencies have confirmed the airport’s status as an e-commerce gateway to the UK.
He says, “It reflects the confidence Chinese e-tailers have in the UK e-commerce market, which remains the most mature in Europe, and growing recognition that Bournemouth is a cost-effective and uncongested alternative to the busy hub airports.”
Around half of consignments from Chengdu clear customs locally in Bournemouth, bypassing Heathrow Airport warehouses for onward travel in the UK.
Bournemouth Airport’s importance as an e-commerce gateway was confirmed by a reciprocal trade mission between Sichuan Province and Bournemouth in August.
A cargo development agreement was signed by Sichuan Province Airport Group Company and Regional & City Airports, the owners of Bournemouth Airport, to provide a stable logistics channel for e-commerce imports and exports.