Air China Cargo is adding Chengdu to its Asia-Europe freighter service as the carrier looks to raise the Western China industrial city's profile in its global network.
The airline made its first stop in Chengdu on its updated Shanghai-Chengdu-Milan route on April 21. Air China Cargo, which began operating to Milan Malpensa Airport in 2009, will be flying the revised route with a 747-400 freighter twice a week.
The company, whose main hub is in Shanghai, is working to develop Chengdu as an additional hub, with 42 international cargo routes now planned through that airport. The added service comes as more manufacturing is shifting from coastal cities to China's less-developed interior points.
Several major electronics manufacturers, including Intel, Cisco and Sony, have significant operations in Chengdu.
Air China Cargo operates to 29 countries on 300 routes. Its fleet includes four 747-200 freighters and eight 747-400 passenger-cargo mixed aircraft.