Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, will launch a series of chartered flights connecting Malaysia with the rest of the Asia-Pacific region via its recently inaugurated Cainiao Aeropolis Electronic World Trade Platform (eWTP) hub, situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
The first chartered flight will run weekly from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Shenzhen, China. In the near term, Cainiao will be launching more direct flights connecting major cities such as Hangzhou in China, Sydney in Australia, Singapore, and Jakarta in Indonesia, to enhance air freight connectivity and stability in the region.
The Kuala Lumpur-Shenzhen chartered flight will be operating three times a week, with a 13-ton capacity to deliver Malaysian products, such as local produce and electronic products, directly to Chinese consumers in four hours. The chartered flights will increase air freight stability amid cargo and commercial flight disruptions, and help businesses in Malaysia to tap into a wider Chinese market. Local businesses will also have the potential to export to the rest of Asia-Pacific following the expansion of air freight routes in the near term.
The move was made in response to growing exports from Malaysia to China. According to a recent media statement from the Ministry of International trade and Industry of Malaysia, China remained as the country’s largest export destination, with exports expanding by 12.5% to RM158.6 billion (US$24.6bn) in 2020, or 16.2% of total exports, the highest value thus far.
Shawn Louis, executive general manager for Cainiao and chief LazGlobal logistics officer, said, “The launch of direct chartered flights will support the increase in trade flow from Malaysia to China and the broader APAC region. Here, the enhanced air freight stability will play a key role in fostering economic development in Malaysia while also instilling greater resilience among SMEs. KLIA’s position as one of the leading distribution gateways in ASEAN, coupled with the smart logistics capabilities of the hub, will be instrumental in facilitating cross-border trade and serve as a regional center for SMEs to scale globally.”
The Cainiao Aeropolis eWTP Hub is a regional e-fulfillment hub located at the KLIA. It started operations in November 2020 to support Malaysia as a growing regional e-commerce logistics hub with 72-hour delivery globally. The eHub was officially launched in November 2021 with a ceremony that was attended by executives from the Ministry of Transport and the Malaysia Airports.