(Yicai Global) March 30 -- Cainiao Network Technology Co., the smart logistics arm under Chinese e-commerce leviathan Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., has launched it first regular intercontinental air freight route, allowing Chinese exports to reach Europe within five days.
The Shenzhen-based courier platform flew its inaugural flight between Hangzhou's Xiaoshan Airport, capital of eastern Zhejiang province, and the Russian capital of Moscow yesterday, stopping at Latvian capital, Riga, on the way, China Economic Net reported.
The route is the world's only flight dedicated to e-commerce products, for which Europe represents one of China's biggest markets. Cainiao alone delivers more than 1,000 tons of goods from China to Russia every month, equivalent to a full load of over 20 air freighters.
Cainiao plans to run one to three regular flights on the route per week initially, and then gradually increase the number of flights five to seven flights.
"After several non-scheduled chartered flight operations, we decided to create a regular chartered flight route for e-commerce," said Cainiao President Wan Lin. "In the future, Cainiao will launch even more intercontinental air routes dedicated to serving e-commerce and small- and medium-sized enterprises and create a global intercontinental flight network" he added.
Alibaba and Cainiao will invest a total of CNY100 billion (USD15.9 billion) over the next five years to establish a global smart logistics network with the ultimate goal of achieving 72-hour global deliveries to support the country's e-commerce sector.