Earlier this week, YTO Cargo Airlines expanded its network with the launch of two new routes to Tashkent International Airport (TAS) in Uzbekistan and Manila International Airport (MNL) in the Philippines.
YTO will utilize a B737F to operate the first route connecting Western China’s Ürümqi International Airport (URC) to Uzbekistan’s Tashkent International Airport (TAS) that the carrier first flew earlier this week, on July 15. According to YTO, the flight is the first direct international freighter flight to fly from URC and the carrier’s ninth international freighter flight in its network.
YTO Cargo Airlines said it is optimistic about leveraging URC as a gateway to Western Asia and Russia. The move will also support an increase in cargo moving through URC as it continues its efforts to develop as a regional hub for cargo. YTO Cargo Airlines said it has further plans to launch two to three new international cargo routes from URC in the latter half of 2019, though details on these flights are forthcoming.
YTO Cargo Airlines will use a B757 to operate the second route connecting Manila International Airport (MNL) to Hangzhou (HGH) three times weekly. The carrier first flew the new route earlier this week on July 16. Each flight will offer a 50 tonnes of capacity, which YTO predicts will carry more than 8,000 tonnes of mail and cargo through HGH per annum – the majority of this cargo is expected to be seafood and e-commerce.
Cargo from the Manila flight will be supported by YTO’s recent expansion of its cargo facilities hub at HGH in June, that the carrier revealed to Air Cargo World during an exclusive tour.
Beyond growing YTO’s network, both of the new routes support the continued expansion of China’s “Belt and Road” initiative. In support of the program, China has recently signed a slew of separate air transport agreements with Uruguay, Thailand, and the European Union. Individual Chinese airports are also maneuvering to attain advantageous positions in the development of the larger Belt and Road initiative through pursuit of their own agreements and infrastructure expansion plans.