Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, has reinforced its commitment to the Chinese market with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China's SF Airlines. Following the MoU, both carriers will start operating flights via their respective fleets to the other carrier’s hub in April, which will enable the UAE's national carrier to expand its reach into China via SF Airline's extensive in-country network.
The new partnership between Etihad Cargo and SF Airlines will provide Etihad Cargo’s customers with greater connectivity to 25 domestic destinations in China via SF Airlines’ road feeder service trucking network, further enhancing Etihad Cargo’s capabilities in the region. In February 2023, the carrier launched an additional direct freighter service to Shanghai, increasing the total number of freighter flights per week to eight. This MoU is the latest step by Etihad Cargo in expanding its operations in China and will see the carrier utilizing SF Airlines' Chinese network to transport cargo to other destinations in China via the Chinese carrier's Hubei Province mega hub. Etihad Cargo will operate the flights on a Boeing 777 freighter, with services commencing on April 28, 2023 in line with this partnership.
Martin Drew, senior vice president – global sales and cargo at Etihad Airways, said, "Etihad Cargo is committed to establishing partnerships that add value to customers across the supply chain. Strengthening the connection between Abu Dhabi and and one of SF Airlines’ major Chinese hubs will enable Etihad Cargo's customers to benefit from SF Airlines' exhaustive distribution capabilities in China, and SF Airlines will reap the benefits of Etihad Cargo's global network for its express product. Etihad Cargo is committed to the country’s ambitious growth vision, and this partnership supports the further development of Abu Dhabi as a major logistics and express hub for the region."
Li Sheng, chairman of SF Airlines, said, “Etihad Cargo is an industry-leading company, with a competitive cargo network from Abu Dhabi to the world. SF Airlines is excited the two companies can work together to connect hubs and strength the network of both airlines. SF Airlines is looking forward to this cooperation, which will offer good value to customers and enable them to develop their international business with more convenient and diversified global transportation options.”
SF Airlines, the cargo arm of SF Holding, operates the largest cargo air fleets in China. Via the capacity-sharing agreement with SF Airlines, Etihad Cargo will provide greater market access to key destinations in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.