Shanghai-based YTO Express is one of China’s largest express operators, delivering over 1.5 billion packages in 2014. For some time, the company has wanted to follow in the footsteps of China Post and Shenzhen-based SF Express, and operate its own airline.
YTO applied for an operating certificate in 2013, and in mid-2014 its wish was granted when the Civil Aviation Administration of China approved the application. This month YTO took the final step, with YTO Express Airlines launching 737-300F service on a Shanghai-Seoul-Qingdao-Hong Kong-Shanghai route.
While this initial service will operate through Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport (PVG), the company has said the carrier’s main base will be at Xiahshan Airport (HGH) in Hangzhou, 150 km southwest of Shanghai, at the mouth of the Yangtze River. While YTO, like rival SF Airlines, plans to expand its fleet rapidly, Cargo Facts has learned that it is starting with two 737-300Fs recently purchased from Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines.