Cainiao Smart Logistics Network and Saudia Cargo have announced a partnership to operate five weekly flights from Hong Kong to Liege in Belgium, with Riyadh in Saudi Arabia as a connection point. The partnership aims to form a sky bridge linking Asia, Europe and the Middle East to cater for growing e-commerce demand.
Cainiao says the Middle East is one of its top five overseas markets, with shipment volumes growing 20% year-on-year. With the launch of new flights, the company says customers in the Middle East will be able to receive their online orders from China in as little as 10 days.
William Xiong, Cainiao’s chief strategist and general manager of export logistics, explained, “The partnership with Saudia Cargo is key to expanding our global logistics network to improve export efficiency. With the launch of new flights, merchants and customers in China, Saudi Arabia and Europe will benefit from a better logistics experience. This new route will be one of the key elements in creating a seamless logistics network and increasing synergies between different regions.”
Commenting on his company’s agreement with Cainiao, Saudia Cargo’s CEO Omar Hariri added, “This partnership is another significant milestone for Saudia Cargo. It is a confident step toward achieving our goals of turning the Kingdom into a modern global logistics hub; to become a central focal point that connects the East with the West by leveraging the Kingdom’s unique strategic location in the heart of the world. This partnership will pave the way for open channels of global trade, which makes a massive contribution to the Saudi Vision 2030.”
With a fleet of Boeing 747 and 777 freighter aircraft, Saudia Cargo says it has adequate space and tonnage capacity to haul e-commerce goods on different routes. Meanwhile, Liege Airport is the sixth biggest cargo airport in Europe and the first in Belgium to strategically connect East and West. It has handled more than 500 million e-commerce packages in 2020, a record number despite the pandemic, and is the only European airport giving priority to full cargo and express transport.