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Air China Cargo Completes Cherry Charter’s Maiden Voyage

June 24, 2015

Amongst growing hunger for imported cherries and increasing demand for high-quality imported fresh produce in general from Chinese domestic consumers, Air China Cargo completed its first charter flight of Northwest cherries on 17th June, following in Eastern Air Logistics’ similar stead.

Ms. Wang Xin, Project Manager for Air China Cargo’s cherry charter, mentioned to Produce Report that the shipment began its journey in Vancouver, stopping briefly in Los Angeles before landing in Shanghai. A total of 75 tons of cherries were shipped, with Air China Cargo planning to complete 18 deliveries during the prime growing season for Northwest cherries, which concludes at the end of July.

In order to ensure the success of this initial charter, numerous preparations were undertaken, including comprehensive market investigation in Seattle (one of the cherry production areas), and communication and coordination with local agents in Canada, with the final result ending in a rousing success.

Air China Cargo has witnessed a recent surge in the volume of imported produce into China and has prepared to increase freight cargo capabilities beginning from the latter-half of 2014 by purchasing air cargo planes from Boeing. In total, Air China Cargo will possess seven B777-200F air cargo planes by July, with three B747-400Fs and four B757-200SFs of its current cargo plane fleet made available as alternative options. The increased demand for cherries has made the business opportunities for American seasonal fruits in China clear to Air China Cargo, and increasing investment in expanding the capacity of North American cargo airlines, according to market fluctuations and customer needs, continues to be a top priority.

Following the success of its first charter of NW cherries, Chilean cherries have been given consideration as potential future imports, but still require additional levels of confirmation. In addition to cherries, Air China Cargo transports premium fresh fruit, such as asparagus and blueberries, from California to China all year round, re-exporting them to destinations in Southeast Asia. Furthermore, Air China Cargo provides seafood freight shipments from Canada to China.

Air China Cargo is the largest cargo airline in China, possessing major hubs in Beijing and Shanghai and a global network of cargo airlines. According to Air China Cargo, it also ‘exclusively operates all airliner bellyhold of Air China,’ owning 1,111 global truck routes which act to supplement its air freighter and airliner bellyhold networks, thereby enabling it to rapidly deliver cargo to every corner of the world.

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