Air France-KLM Cargo and Martinair Cargo launched twice weekly freighter flights between Amsterdam and Shanghai via Moscow.
The carriers said with the addition of the new service, which uses 747-400 extended range freighters, they are now offering 31 weekly flights to China from their Amsterdam and Paris Charles de Gaulle hubs.
Traffic will consist mainly of general cargo such as telecommunications equipment.
By The Numbers: European Airlines' Freight Traffic.
The carriers claimed they are focusing on capacity discipline and very selective, flexible growth opportunities in line with demand "in the current volatile and still fragile air freight market."
Air France-KLM is expected to confirm this week that its Amsterdam-based unit Martinair will cease its passenger charter operations to focus exclusively on cargo.
Martinair Cargo, currently flying four 747-400 extended range freighters and seven MD-11 cargo aircraft, is in line eventually to take over the all-cargo operations of Air France and KLM in the way Lufthansa Cargo operates freighter operations independently of its parent Lufthansa.
Air France-KLM is Europe's largest air cargo carrier but it has been cutting capacity during the past 18 months. It boosted August traffic by just 0.5 percent from a year ago compared with an 18.7 percent surge at Lufthansa and a 3.4 percent increase at British Airways.
-- Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.