Monday, May 20, 2019

Online Business Sparks New Chinese Air Freight Route for Russian Cargo Carrier

Latvia Connected in Latest Expansion of Network
Shipping News Feature
RUSSIA – CHINA – LATVIA – Volga-Dnepr Group subsidiary Atran Airlines, the Russian air freight express carrier has been extending connections with China once again. Shortly after introducing a new service to Xi'an, Atran has announced a new route into its network between Hangzhou (China), an emerging technology hub, and home to the e-commerce industry in China, and Riga (Latvia).

The flight, which is to be operated every Thursday utilising the air carrier’s recently deployed Boeing 737-800BCF, will provide up to 23 tonnes of cargo capacity for the e-commerce shipments of Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group. Dmitry Obsharov, General Director of Atran Airlines, observed:

“We have been focusing on satisfying growing demand of cross-border shipments, analysing best-case scenarios for the consumers and the launch of the lane Hangzhou-Riga is a result of our joint cooperation.

”Atran Airlines will offer cargo connection between Hangzhou, a major city in the Yangtze River Delta region, and Riga, which opens up distribution possibilities to both Russian and EU markets. On top of this, our customers will favour weekly air cargo services from Riga to Moscow (Vnukovo) with access to interline routes and CIS connections.”

The new freight call is another step of the ongoing cooperation between the Group and Cainiao Network and the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed at the end of 2018 with the aim to strengthen the Group’s positions in the area of cross-border shipments in the market and jointly build a global smart logistics network to meet upgrading demands. James Zhao, general manager of Cainiao Global, commented:

“Cainiao is striving to enhance cross-border logistics service for merchants, brands and consumers. We are pleased to partner with Atran Airlines to leverage its freight capabilities to provide efficient cross-border delivery.”

Atran Airlines, which operates a fleet of Boeing 737-400SFs and Boeing 737-800BCFs, says it is concentrating on creating bridges for the booming volumes of online purchases between China and Russia, expanding its network and enlarging the fleet. The development of the new route has equally enthused Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport, who said:

“With the arrival of Atran, Riga Airport has become the first Baltic airport to be used for direct regular e-commerce cargo transportation to China. It provides invaluable opportunities for both businesses and the economic cooperation between the Baltic region and China in general, especially considering that Atran will also provide a connection to Russia, thus providing new opportunities for Baltic exporters.

”This project would not be possible without the active and efficient co-operation between all the parties involved. Therefore, I would like to thank the carrier, the Post of Latvia and the state institutions, especially the State Revenue Service Customs Board, for their effective engagement in the implementation of the project.”

Photo: Welcoming the first Riga Atran flight.