19 May 2017

Chinese Aviation Group Plans to Make Xi'an a Global Air Freight Hub   

New Routes Aimed at Creating a Centre of World Trade City

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Shipping News Feature CHINA – The attention being paid to China's 'One Belt, One Road' policy has generally focussed on the aspects of how the government plans to open up vast new markets with overland routes, primarily through intermodal access. Though these plans have encountered a fair amount of scepticism, the focus on the rail aspects means that less attention has been paid to the plans of the burgeoning Chinese airlines to introduce their own freight routes to further link the country to the world outside.

The HNA group, which operates a fleet of 1250 aircraft on 1100 domestic and international routes, has announced that it is initiating two new air freight routes linking the ancient city of Xi’an (renowned for the world-famous terracotta warriors) to both North America and Europe. The routes will fly between Xi'an - Shanghai - Anchorage – Chicago and Shanghai - Xi'an – Amsterdam. HNA states that these two routes are intended to be the start of a global air cargo network centred on Xi’an. Zhang Weiliang, the chairman and CEO of HNA Modern Logistics Group said:

“[HNA] will structure a global aviation freight net and build a 'Chinese Memphis' in Xi'an….the cooperation between China and the global freight market will expand, which creates more advantages for China connecting with other countries from the perspectives of logistics and economic trade.”

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