DUBAI, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) flagship carrier Emirates Airline on Wednesday partnered with China's e-commerce giant Alibaba Group over cross-border logistics, the Emirates Airline said in an e-mailed statement.
SkyCargo, the air freight arm of Emirates, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Ltd., the logistics arm of Alibaba, to jointly facilitate the delivery of cross-border parcels, the statement said.
The MoU was signed by Nabil Sultan, divisional senior vice president of Skycargo, and Guan Xiaodong, general manager of Cainiao Global Business at Cainiao's global headquarters in Hangzhou, capital of China's eastern province of Zhejiang.
The MoU also aims to support Cainiao's broader efforts to offer enhanced customer experience, as the logistics network recently unveiled plans to develop six global hubs in six cities including Dubai.
Under the MoU, SkyCargo and Cainiao will work closely to manage e-commerce shipments in the Middle East and neighboring regions via Dubai, the biggest trade and logistics hub in the Gulf Arab region.
"The MoU we signed is the first step in what will be a deep and fruitful relationship between Emirates SkyCargo and one of the biggest players in the global e-commerce supply chain," said Sultan.
He believes SkyCargo's network spread, frequent flights from China and state-of-the-art hub facilities as well as Dubai's strategic location, will contribute significantly to Cainiao's operations in the Middle East and beyond.
Meanwhile, Guan hailed Dubai as "a key gateway that links Asia and Europe."
"Dubai is well positioned to help us achieve our goal of 72-hour global delivery," he said.
Emirates SkyCargo offers cargo capacity to more than 155 global destinations on a modern all-widebody fleet of 267 aircraft, including 14 freighters: 13 Boeing 777Fs and one Boeing 747F.
China remained the UAE's top trade partner for three consecutive years from 2014 to 2016, during which the bilateral trade amounted to 141.74 billion U.S. dollars.
About 300,000 Chinese nationals live in the UAE, while over 4,000 Chinese businesses operate in the Gulf state.