Flag carrier Etihad Airways and Henan Province Airport Group have signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic partnership to strengthen aviation ties between the UAE and China.
The MOU includes plans for regular cargo services between Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) and Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO) by creating a so-called ‘air silk road’ between Henan Province and Abu Dhabi.
The partnership also covers a joint cooperation to establish CGO as an air freight hub in the region. The Chinese airport plays a key role in central China’s exports and food imports as part of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone (ZAEZ), with 51 air cargo routes.
Etihad said it has operated 1,042 cargo flights out of Shanghai and Beijing, carrying over 65,000 tonnes, with around half of the volume consisting of medical supplies.
The airline provides specialist products and services for high-value shipments, including pharmaceuticals, perishables, live animal transport, high-value cargo and ecommerce
“The ZAEZ has not only become a manufactured product export dynamo, but also Central China’s largest foreign-origin meat port as well as a leading Chinese distribution point for a multitude of other imported food perishables,” said Kang Xingzhen, chairman of Henan Airport Group
Xingzhen said the agreement will allow Etihad and the airport group to explore various opportunities involving air transport under China’s ‘Belt and Road’.