Cainiao to lease Tu-204-100 freighters from Aviastar-Tu – company courtesy
Atran grows freighter fleetIn a related development, Atran Airlines, the air express subsidiary of the Volga-Dnepr Group which operates from Moscow Vnukovo airport, last month added a second B737-800BCF to its current fleet of six freighters – 4 B737-400SF and 2 B737-800BCF – to support additional capacity needed for its e-commerce operations.
Last year, Volga-Dnepr formed a partnership with Cainiao, which resulted in Atran launching a weekly service from Hangzhou to Riga.
Cainiao has also formed partnerships with Singapore Airlines and Chinese express airline YTO and has selected five cities – Hangzhou, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Liege and Moscow as its global logistics hubs to meet demand for faster delivery.
Rail complements air services
Meanwhile, Alibaba this week increased its majority stake in its logistics affiliate Cainiao Smart Logistics Network to 63% from 51% with an investment of US$3.3 billion.
Commenting on the investment, Alibaba Group Executive CEO Daniel Zhang said Alibaba supports the ongoing development of Cainiao and its work to accelerate digitalisation of logistics to enhance customer user experience and service.
According to a report in the China Daily, Cainiao last month started a dedicated e-commerce train from a small commodities hub in Yiwu, China to its European hub at Liège Airport. The freight train will operate twice weekly for Cainiao to transport goods including cosmetics and home appliances for European customers.