Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, has added a fourth gateway destination to its Chinese network with the introduction of weekly flights to Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in the Hubei province of China.

The inaugural flight arrived in the Hubei Province on 29 April.

With the commencement of two weekly freighter services between Abu Dhabi and Wuhan, Etihad Cargo will operate a total of ten freighter services to China, offering an additional 100 tonnes of cargo capacity into the Hubei Province each week.

The new route will bring the UAE-based carrier’s total cargo capacity for China to 1,000 tonnes per week, including 850 tonnes of cargo capacity for Shanghai offered via eight weekly freighter services and two passenger flights.

According to Etihad Cargo, the new flights will give its partners greater accessibility to 25 domestic Chinese destinations, including Shenzhen, Dongguan, Hangzhou, Chengdu, and Nanjing, via SF Airlines’ road feeder service trucking network.

Last month, Etihad Cargo and Chinese operator SF Airlines announced an agreement to connect their networks. SF Airlines, the cargo arm of SF Holding, operates the largest cargo air fleets in China.

“The addition of Wuhan to Etihad Cargo’s Chinese network is the latest step in enhancing the carrier’s capabilities in the region,” said Martin Drew, Etihad Cargo’s senior vice president of global sales and cargo.

“These flights will provide greater connectivity, market access and cargo capacity for Etihad Cargo’s customers, further strengthening the relationship between the UAE and China and positioning Abu Dhabi as a global logistics and express hub.”

Wuhan is the fourth destination in mainland China to be added to Etihad Cargo’s network.

The carrier says it will be increasing frequencies to China in the coming months to meet increasing capacity demands from customers in the UAE and China.