Issue Brief on “Wings of Prosperity: The Significance of new China-Pakistan Air Cargo Route”

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The inauguration of the China-Pakistan Air Cargo Route between Ezhou Huahu Airport in Central Chinese Hubei province and Lahore marks a significant milestone in promoting connectivity between the two countries. This route, originating from China’s first cargo-focused airport, Ezhou Huahu, operates three weekly round-trip flights and aims to provide an estimated 300 tonnes of air express capacity per week.[1] Launched by SF Airlines, a Chinese cargo airline, this initiative not only reinforces global connectivity but also strategically aligns with the broader economic framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The air cargo route is expected to bolster air transport capacities and, consequently, trade between the two countries, amplifying the broader impact of CPEC on the already existing economic collaboration between Pakistan and China.

The newly-launched China-Pakistan Air Cargo route emerges as a pivotal addition in the historical context of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a transformative initiative under President Xi Jinping’s visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). With over $65 billion committed and $25.4 billion injected, CPEC has long been a cornerstone of the bilateral relationship, promoting economic prosperity and connectivity not only in Pakistan and China but also in the region. The recent air cargo route contributes to the multifaceted engagement goals of CPEC, signifying another progressive step in efforts to expand trade between China and Pakistan.

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