Airports in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have resumed their international cargo operations as part of efforts to stabilize global industrial and supply chains.
Diwopu International Airport in the regional capital Urumqi and Kashgar International Airport in the southern Xinjiang city of Kashgar have both restarted their international cargo charter services, the Xinjiang Airport Group said Thursday.
Xinjiang airports suspended their global cargo operations in September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When the air cargo service halted, it took us more than ten days to transport goods from Xinjiang to Pakistan. Now the delivery time is less than one day," said Wan Xiang, head of a Xinjiang-based logistics company.
The resumption of international cargo routes can help enterprises in Xinjiang, and other domestic areas, quickly enter the Asian and European markets, as well as integrate into the global supply chain system, said Nie Wenying, the marketing department head of the Xinjiang Airport Group.
The latest move will promote the export of goods and boost foreign trade, Nie added.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is casting a shadow on the global supply chain, Xinjiang, which is in the core area of the Silk Road Economic Belt, has become a significant international logistics hub.
Last year, Urumqi Diwopu International Airport alone handled more than 900 international cargo charter flights, carrying over 15,100 tonnes of goods.
China-Europe freight trains are also favored by more companies because of their stable operation and relatively lower costs amid the pandemic.
In 2021, Horgos Port and Alataw Pass, both major rail ports in Xinjiang, handled a total of 12,210 freight trains connecting China with European and Central Asian countries, up 21.5 percent compared to 2020, showed data from the China Railway Urumqi Group Co., Ltd.