MASkargo has formed an alliance with Hainan Airlines Group (HNA) so the two businesses can have a broader network.

"HNA have big plans to expand their cargo fleet in Hong Kong and Shanghai and we are increasing our services to Shanghai Pudong," says MASkargo managing director Shahari Sulaiman. The Malaysian cargo carrier in September increased its Kuala Lumpur-Shanghai Pudong service to eight per week and it plans to increase it to 10 shortly.

Shahari says HNA and MASkargo's networks are complementary.

HNA's cargo flights are to Luxembourg in Europe and HNA's Yangtze River Express cargo joint-venture has a network in China, he says.

MASkargo, meanwhile, goes to Amsterdam in Europe as well as Australia, India, Southeast Asia and the USA, says Shahari.

He says MASkargo can help HNA to transport goods to markets where HNA has no freighter services and HNA Group can help MASkargo to reach more cities in China.

This is important for MASkargo, because there is a lot of manufacturing shifting from large coastal cities, such as Shanghai, to the smaller inland cities, he adds.

Shahari says the new alliance may extend in future to joint-services of freighters although he declines to elaborate.

He also says the alliance in future may include collaboration between Malaysia Airlines' and Hainan Airlines' passenger businesses.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news