HANGZHOU, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- A cargo plane will leave Hangzhou, Zhejiang, for Chicago early Wednesday, marking the first direct freight air route between the eastern Chinese city and the United States.
According to Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, the freight air route is operated by Hong Kong Airlines Cargo, using planes of Atlas Air Inc.
The flights will be operated by Boeing 747-400 cargo aircraft with a maximum payload capacity of 112 tonnes, said Chen Mingrong, a market manager of the airport.
Three round trips will be scheduled every week, and are expected to bring about 20,000 tonnes of international cargo throughput to the airport annually.
The exported products are primarily electronic devices including mobile phones and computers, as well as clothes and daily necessities.
In recent years, air freight between Zhejiang and the United States was transported via other airports such as Hong Kong and Shanghai. A one-way trip would take three to four days. This will be shortened to 15 hours with the opening of the new direct route.
Fast economic growth and Zhejiang's booming of e-commerce sector have brought about development opportunities to the province's air industry.
The airport's cargo throughput reached 358,800 tonnes during the first eight months of 2017, up 18.9 percent from the same period of last year, the highest among the country's top ten airports. The international air cargo throughput registered a robust growth of 59.2 percent during that period.