Not much, but a small glimmer of hope, as Qatar Airways Cargo announces it will resume scheduled belly-hold cargo operations to China with the utilisation of wide-body and passenger-configurated aircraft.
The additional cargo capacity is being added to the carrier’s existing freighter service amid increased demand for the shipment of immediate goods in and out of the region.
The decision to reinstate belly-hold service to six of its passenger destinations in the country is in line with airline’s initiative to continue supporting worldwide connectivity, re-establishing the global supply chain.
This includes the transportation of urgent medical relief aid that is pivotal to the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are pleased to resume belly-hold cargo operations to China where the Covid-19 pandemic has been significantly contained and industrial production is restoring nationwide.
“In addition to our dedicated freighter service, the extra belly-hold availability leveraging the flexibility and reliability of our fleet will greatly enhance our cargo handling capacity in China to support market’s soaring demand for imports and exports, including the urgent outbound shipment of essential commodities, fresh produce, food products, and large proportion of medical supplies to other parts of the world that are currently facing the public health crisis.”
The belly-hold cargo flights will be operated on a turnaround basis assuming the routes’ previously assigned flight numbers and frequencies, without any cabin crew members or passengers on-board.
Supplementing the already-robust cargo payload offered on Qatar Airways’ existing four freighter routes to China, the recommencement of belly-hold service will add significant cargo capacity to six cities that include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing and Hangzhou, with an additional 600 tonnes of weekly capacity added, bringing the combined weekly capacity out of the country to more than 1,300 tonnes.
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