Etihad Cargo will inaugurate a new direct weekly freighter operation from Abu Dhabi to the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou from January 17.
The new cargo service will operate every Thursday using an Airbus A330-200F freighter, with a capacity of 68 metric tonnes.
Guangzhou, the third largest city in China and capital of Guangdong province, is a major centre for electronic goods manufacturing.
Etihad Cargo already operates nine weekly freighter services between Abu Dhabi and the Chinese cities of Shanghai and Beijing, and offers cargo services on its 18 weekly scheduled passenger services to Beijing, Chengdu and Shanghai.
Kevin Knight, Etihad Airways chief strategy and planning officer, said the new freighter service will allow it to capitalise on strong export demand coming out of southern China.
“In addition, whilst we expect to see strong onward trade flows over our Abu Dhabi cargo hub to destinations across the Middle East and Africa, ultimately this service will further strengthen the already strong trade ties between the UAE and China.”
According to recent figures released by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade, trade between the UAE and China increased by 395 per cent in the last ten years and stands at around $15.6 billion.
Etihad Cargo flies to a total of 87 destinations internationally, operating a fleet of six freighters, consisting of one Airbus A300-600F, two Airbus A330-200F, one McDonnell Douglas MD-11F, one Boeing B777F and one Boeing B747-400F.
In 2013, the cargo operator will take delivery of three new freighters – an Airbus A330-200F and two Boeing B777F.