Air Cargo Management

Capacity doubles on China to Bournemouth all-cargo route

Cargo First
photo_camera A trade delegation from Sichuan Province in China to Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First. Credit: Cargo First

Bournemouth Airport’s Cargo First air freight business has announced a doubling of capacity between Bournemouth and China.

It has also signed a new cargo development agreement following the successful launch of an e-commerce route earlier this year.

Shenzhen Sharing Express Logistic-Tech Ltd started the first all-cargo route between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) in China and Bournemouth Airport (BOH) in April with three flights per week.

Capacity on the route has already doubled to six flights per week, equating to a capacity of more than 20,000 tonnes per year.

The service is operated by Bournemouth-based European Cargo using its fleet of all-cargo A-340 widebody freighters, each with a capacity of 76 tonnes.

The growing importance of the route as an e-commerce gateway was recently underlined by a reciprocal trade mission between Sichuan Province and Bournemouth during which a cargo development agreement was signed between Sichuan Province Airport Group Company and Regional & City Airports (owner of Bournemouth Airport).

The agreement aims to build ‘Chengdu-Bournemouth’ as a dual hub co-operation platform between Chengdu and Europe, providing a stable logistics channel for the import and export of e-commerce goods.

Cargo First says it is also seeing a growing proportion – around 30 per cent – of consignments from Chengdu clearing customs locally in Bournemouth and bypassing Heathrow warehouses altogether for onward travel in the UK.

Steve Gill, Bournemouth Airport managing director, said: “Doubling capacity on the Chengdu route is a huge vote of confidence in Bournemouth as an e-commerce gateway to the UK.

“Our combination of location, no slot constraints, flexibility and speed, plus European Cargo’s growing fleet capacity, is a winning combination.

“We were delighted to welcome a delegation from Sichuan Province to Bournemouth recently and to see the operation in Chengdu, where we signed our co-operation agreement.

“With more than 20,000 tonnes of capacity on the route we also see growing opportunities for UK producers shipping goods to China.”

David Kerr, European Cargo’s chief executive, said: “We are delighted that the ability for ECL to deploy scale capacity over extended global markets, with reliability and value, has allowed our customer to place their trust in our new and unique freighter proposition.

“But the journey is also about the partnerships on the ground in Bournemouth and Chengdu, that deliver a comprehensive and differentiated solution.

“As we expand our converted fleet beyond the current four aircraft to 10 over the next 18 months, we aim to grow with our partners and their respective shipper and consignee customers.”

Both Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First are part of the UK’s privately-owned Regional & City Airports (RCA) group, which also owns Coventry Airport, Exeter Airport, and Norwich Airport.

RCA also operates the XLR Executive Jet Centre FBO facilities at Birmingham, Bournemouth, Exeter, and Liverpool airports.

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