Cargoitalia ’ Italy’s all-cargo flag-carrier ’ has commenced direct scheduled services twice weekly to Shanghai Pudong Airport from its Milan (Malpensa) hub, using its recently-delivered third MD11 freighter.
The airline is now operating to Shanghai every Wednesday and Sunday, departing at 05:00 and arriving at 00:20 the following day. Return flights depart at 02:50 and arrive at 11:55.
The inaugural rotation achieved an average 76% load factor, with almost double the cargo booked on the return flight from China compared to the outbound service. The addition of Shanghai to the Cargoitalia network also opens up the potential for transhipment traffic to and from the USA via Milan, using the airline’s New York and Chicago services.
Cargoitalia will increase frequency to Shanghai to three-times-weekly from October, bringing the weekly total of its outbound flights to 13. The airline’s network now includes New York, Chicago, Dubai, Sharjah, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
In Shanghai, Cargoitalia is represented by general sales agent New Asia Capital Resources, with which it also works in Hong Kong. ‘Its handling agent is PACTL West (Shanghai Pudong International Airport Public Cargo Terminal Co. Ltd ’ West), while China Eastern Airlines is ‘providing ramp handling.
Says Cargoitalia’s Commercial Director Roberto Gilardoni: ‘This is a very promising start for our Shanghai service. Italy now has direct scheduled freighter capacity on this important route, and west-bound traffic is as strong as we anticipated.
‘We also expect some imbalance in traffic flows initially, but as Italian industry continues to recover and the market becomes more familiar with our new service, this should even out’ demand east-bound.
‘Shanghai is an important element in our growth strategy, and we are in the market for the long term. Once this route has bedded in, we will turn our attention to our next target market and how to resource it.’
Cargoitalia currently operates three MD11 freighters with up to 90,000 kilos capacity each, and is undertaking a review of its future aircraft requirements. Options include further leased MD11Fs, and/or brand new freighter aircraft, which could be either leased or purchased.