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Latvia airport chairperson Ilona LiceRIGA, Latvia: May 20, 2019. Volga-Dnepr air express subsidiary Atran Airlines has begun a weekly freighter service between Hangzhou and Riga. The airline is using a 23-tonne capacity B737-800 to carry e-commerce shipments of Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group.

Volga Dnepr and Cainiao Network signed an MoU at the end of 2018 to build a global smart logistics network.

“We have been focusing on satisfying growing demand of cross-border shipments, analyzing best-case scenarios for consumers, [so the] launch of the Hangzhou-Riga [route] is a result of our joint cooperation,” explained Atran general director Dmitry Obsharov.

“Atran will offer cargo connection between Hangzhou, a major city in the Yangtze River Delta region, and Riga which opens up distribution possibilities to both Russian and EU markets. In addition our customers will have weekly air cargo services from Riga to Moscow, Vnukovo [airport] with access to interline routes and CIS connections,” he added.

“With the arrival of Atran, Riga Airport has become the first Baltic airport to be used for direct regular e-commerce cargo transportation to China,” commented airport chairperson Ilona Līce (pictured).

“It provides invaluable opportunities for both businesses and the economic cooperation between the Baltic region and China in general, especially considering that Atran will also provide a connection to Russia, thus providing new opportunities for Baltic exporters.

“I would like to thank the carrier, the Post of Latvia and the state institutions, especially the State Revenue Service Customs Board, for their effective engagement in the implementation of the project,” she continued.

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