Cathay Pacific is launching a weekly freight route to emerging manufacturing hub Colombo, Sri Lanka, on December 2. The Boeing 747-400F service, which will operate by a Hong Kong-Chennai-Colombo-Hong Kong routing, addresses Sri Lanka’s hefty volumes of North America-, Europe- and Asia-bound cargo.
Operating every Sunday, the route will likely be inundated with garments and perishables, according to a press release. Cathay Pacific said the dedicated freight route will give Sri Lankan shippers more flexibility when connecting to its global network, along with boosting its presence in the Southeast Asian market.
“Sri Lanka is home to major garment and footwear manufacturers, producing goods for well-known international brands, and also has sizable exports of perishable products, including tuna and lobster,” Cathay Pacific Cargo Director Nick Rhodes said in a statement.
“We already carry sizable quantities of freight in the bellies of our daily passenger flights to and from Colombo, but the new freighter service will enable us to better meet the demand for Sri Lankan products in major markets around the world,” Rhodes added.
Sri Lanka isn’t the only Asian destination Cathay Pacific is eying for growth. Since the beginning of the year, the Hong Kong-based carrier has launched dedicated freight routes to Zhengzhou, China, and Hyderabad, India, routes that are served by the carrier’s expanded fleet of freighter aircraft.