Atran Airlines has expanded its network by adding Shijiazhuang in China to its schedule. The express air cargo carrier, part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, will operate the flights on a weekly basis to Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow (Russia), where it is based.

    The maiden flight, operated in early August, lifted almost 15 tons of e-commerce-related consolidated cargo. Atran is planning to deploy both types of its freighters – Boeing 737-400SF and Boeing 737-800BCF – to guarantee high-quality services for its customers and final consignees who expect on-time delivery of their online purchases.

    With Shijiazhuang being the capital of Hebei Province and neighbouring Beijing and Tianjin to the north, the city covers the catchment area of North China. After booming growth of e-commerce and its penetration across first-tier cities of China, second-tier cities, including the likes of Xi’an and Shijiazhuang, are becoming active players and accumulating stable traffic to Russia.

    “Amid lockdown across various countries of the world, with closing of most shops and movement restrictions within the cities, e-commerce came as a breath of fresh air, meaning that people were not lacking lifestyle essentials”, commented the director general of Atran Airlines, Vilatiy Andreev.

    “With the demand for cargo operations so high, we experienced a considerable increase in e-commerce volumes during the first six months of this year. We attribute this not only to the strict measures in place and decrease of passenger aircraft belly-hold capacities, but also to our stable development of long and medium-terms contracts with our customers, being flexible and agile in terms of network development and enhancing our service quality”, added Andreev.

    Shijiazhuang is the latest addition to Atran’s network, effectively complementing existing locations such as Xi’an, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Urumqi and Zhengzhou, and providing greater delivery options for Atran’s customers.

    Earlier this summer, Atran Airlines worked with AirBridge Cargo to ship more than 170 tons of medical equipment to Krasnoyarsk in Siberia, Russia behalf of the Moscow government.