A brand new cargo plane, a B777F, carrying 90 tons of anti-COVID-19 material produced in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area left Shenzhen yesterday, marking the beginning of the intercontinental cargo route between Shenzhen and Chicago in the U.S. state of Illinois.
The route via Anchorage, the largest city in Alaska, the U.S., is the first regular intercontinental cargo route that has ever opened at Shenzhen International Airport.
The flight will operate three times a week, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Under the flight number CZ411, it leaves at 0:05 a.m. and arrives at Anchorage at 9:35 a.m., and then reaches Chicago at 4:15 p.m. Return flight CZ412 leaves Chicago at 6:35 p.m. and arrives at Shenzhen at 10:45 a.m., the following day, according to the operator, China Southern Airlines, at an inauguration ceremony Friday.
In addition to this route, China Southern Airlines will open the Guangzhou-Chongqing-Frankfurt route and increase flights on the Guangzhou-London cargo route.
“Shenzhen is a strategic market of China Southern Airlines and a model of high-quality development. The opening of this intercontinental cargo flight will further improve connectivity of Shenzhen’s cargo network,” said Liu Zubin, general manager with China Southern Airlines Logistics Co. Ltd.
China Southern Airlines operates about 130 cargo flights a day from Shenzhen, including 118 domestic flights, covering 66 cities and handling 590 tons of cargo.
The B777F freighter can carry cargo up to 103 metric tons and fly about 9,000 kilometers without refueling, according to Liu.
Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the company has refitted some passenger planes into cargo planes and put them on routes to Sydney, Melbourne, Dubai and Manila. The flights, 35 in total, have carried 470 tons of anti-virus material.
China Southern Airlines speeded up expansion of intercontinental routes since the route to Sydney was put into operation in January 2016. It is now operating 16 international passenger routes including four long-haul routes to Sydney, Melbourne, Moscow and Dubai.