Bournemouth Airport could see more e-commerce shipments from China as its air freight business Cargo First announced the doubling of services operated by European Cargo between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport (CTU) in China and Bournemouth Airport (BOH).
The move comes following a new cargo development agreement signed in August, between the Sichuan Province Airport Group Company and the Regional and City Airports, which owns Bournemouth Airport.
Shenzhen Sharing Express Logistic-Tech initiated the first all-cargo route between CTU and BOH in April with three flights per week, but starting 18 September, these weekly services will be increased to six. Bournemouth-based European Cargo will fly the route using its fleet of A-340 wide-bodied freighters, each with a capacity of 76 tonnes. With the added services, this equates to more than 20,000 tonnes in capacity per year.
Bournemouth Airport managing director Steve Gill, 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.
Cargo First said the new cargo development deal aims to build the route as a ‘dual hub’ cooperation platform between Chengdu and Europe, providing a stable logistics channel for the import and export of e-commerce goods.
The company said it is seeing a growing proportion—around 30 percent—of consignments from Chengdu clearing customs locally in Bournemouth and bypassing Heathrow warehouses altogether for onward travel in the United Kingdom. The company is looking forward to 1 million square feet of warehousing development on the Cargo First Logistics Park at Bournemouth Airport.
European Cargo’s chief executive David Kerr shared the airline plans to expand its current converted freighter fleet converted to 10 over the next 18 months, in a bid to grow with partners and their respective shipper and consignee customers.