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December 4, 2009

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Airline raises cargo capacity

CHINA Southern Airlines boosted its cargo capacity by 92 percent after introducing two Boeing 777 jets yesterday to enhance its services on the European and United States routes.

The B777 jets, each capable of carrying 105.9 tons of goods, will fly the airline's two new routes linking Shanghai with Frankfurt and Chicago.

Frankfurt is an important cargo destination as Germany's exports to China account for 43 percent of the European Union and its imports from China account for 21 percent, the Guangzhou-based carrier said.

The cargo volume on the Shanghai to Chicago route accounts for 30 percent of the total cargo volume departing from the Chinese city, it said.

"We saw a rebound in cargo demand in the fourth quarter of this year, and the cargo rate more than doubled that of a year earlier to hit a record high," said Han Wensheng, general manager of the carrier's Shanghai branch.

But the airline is not sure if the rebound is stable as a lot depends on the economic situation in 2010.

"Whether the rebound is stable or not depends on the economic situation in the second quarter of next year," said Luo Laijun, general manager of China Southern Cargo.

The carrier will introduce four more B777s by 2011 to raise its cargo fleet to eight, including two B747 jets.


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