(ECNS) -- A freight airplane carrying instruments, spare parts, and clothing landed at Ningbo Lishe International Airport in Zhejiang Province on Tuesday, marking the opening of a fifth-freedom freight air route connecting Ningbo, Liege in Belgium, and Reykjavík in Iceland.
A fifth-freedom flight is one where an airline company from one country or region, when running an international service, gets permission to make a stopover in a third country and take on passengers and cargo.
It is the third intercontinental air route of its kind launched by Ningbo Airport as well as the first freight air route shuttling from Ningbo city and Europe this year.
Operated by the Air Atlanta Icelandic, the flight will operate each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
Inbound flights will send general cargo from Western and Eastern Europe to China. After the end of the fishing ban in Iceland, salmon and other fresh goods will enter the Chinese market via the route.
Outbound flights will carry e-commerce parcels, small commodities and spare parts from Ningbo, Hangzhou, Jinhua, Yiwu and Jiaxing in Zhejiang Province.
It is estimated that the volume of cross-border e-commerce exported via Ningbo Airport in a single day is expected to increase by about two times compared with the first quarter after the opening of the route, while Ningbo Airport is expected to deal with another10,000 tons of cargo throughout the year.
Europe has gradually become the third largest e-commerce market in the world and an important export destination for China due to its advanced infrastructure and good e-commerce environment.
Located in the center of Europe, Liege is adjacent to the Netherlands, Germany and France. It is the largest freight hub in Belgium and an important gateway to the European market.
The freight air route has connected the freight transport markets of China, Belgium, and Iceland via fifth-freedom flights, which will deepen economic and trading cooperation between the three markets.
Ningbo Airport now operates 11 international (regional) freight routes, forming an international network across Europe, the United States, and Asia.