Early last year, when Daniel Zhang took over as CEO of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, he said the company was going to globalize, that the new goal was “Global buy and global sell.” In his view, Alibaba’s market was no longer China, but the world.
But how to reach the world?
Over the last two years, we have seen China’s express airlines — which carry the purchases made through Alibaba’s websites — expand their networks to include not just domestic routes, but also some regional routes.
And, as of this week, one express company has made the jump from regional to global air service.
Shanghai-based Shun Tong Express, generally known as STO Express, has teamed up with SW Italia, the Italian joint venture in which Azerbaijan-based Silk Way West Airlines is a partner, to operate an own-controlled China-Europe service.
The service is operated with a 747-8F from the Silk Way West fleet, but featuring STO livery, currently with one weekly frequency between Hong Kong and Prague. At the Hong Kong end, the flight is handled by Hactl.
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