Atran Airlines, the Russian air express carrier within Volga-Dnepr Group (the Group), is introducing new route into its network between Hangzhou (China), an emerging technology hub and home to the e-commerce industry in China, and Riga (Latvia).
The flight, which is to be operated every Thursday on board of recently deployed Boeing 737-800BCF, will provide up to 23 tonnes of cargo capacity for e-commerce shipments of Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group.
The new freight call is another step of the ongoing cooperation between the Group and Cainiao Network and Memorandum of Understanding which was signed at the end of 2018 with the aim to strengthen the Group’s positions in the area of cross-border shipments in the market and jointly build a global smart logistics network to meet upgrading demands.
“We have been focusing on satisfying growing demand of cross-border shipments, analyzing best-case scenarios for the consumers and launch of the lane Hangzhou-Riga is a result of our joint cooperation. Atran Airlines will offer cargo connection between Hangzhou, a major city in the Yangtze River Delta region, and Riga, which opens up distribution possibilities to both Russian and EU markets. On top of this, our customers will favor weekly air cargo services from Riga to Moscow (Vnukovo) with access to interline routes and CIS connections,” – stated Dmitry Obsharov, General Director of Atran Airlines.
“Cainiao is striving to enhance cross-border logistics service for merchants, brands and consumers. We are pleased to partner with Atran Airlines to leverage its freight capabilities to provide efficient cross-border delivery,” said James Zhao, general manager of Cainiao Global.
“With the arrival of Atran, Riga Airport has become the first Baltic airport to be used for direct regular e-commerce cargo transportation to China. It provides invaluable opportunities for both businesses and the economic cooperation between the Baltic region and China in general, especially considering that Atran will also provide a connection to Russia, thus providing new opportunities for Baltic exporters. This project would not be possible without the active and efficient co-operation between all the parties involved. Therefore, I would like to thank the carrier, the Post of Latvia and the state institutions, especially the State Revenue Service Customs Board, for their effective engagement in the implementation of the project,” says Ilona Līce, Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport.
Atran Airlines, which operates the fleet of Boeing 737-400SF and Boeing 737-800BCF, is concentrating on creating bridges for the booming volumes of online purchases between China and Russia, expanding its network and enlarging the fleet. The new service adds to the recently launched Xi’an route into Atran’s fold with the carrier being aimed at further increase of its foothold in the region.
Riga International Airport is one of the fastest growing airports in Europe according to the Airport Council International (ACI) report on airport performance in Europe in 2018. The 20 airlines operating at Riga Airport offer more than 70 destinations in the winter season and more than 100 in the summer season. In 2018, Riga Airport handled over 50% of entire Baltic air cargo traffic.