China News Service, Yanji, August 5 (Guo Jia and Zhang Xiaona) After a 130-day absence, an Airbus A321 aircraft took off from Yanji Chaoyangchuan International Airport on the 5th to Seoul Incheon International Airport in South Korea. However, this time it is not carrying passengers, but 6 tons of cargo.

  Yanji Chaoyangchuan International Airport (hereinafter referred to as "Yanji Airport") is located in Yanji City, the capital of Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province. Affected by the new crown pneumonia epidemic, all international flights from Yanji to South Korea have been suspended since the end of March, and direct air cargo channels have also been interrupted.

Cargo loading. Photo by Zhang Xiaona

  This "passenger-to-cargo" flight is chartered by Jilin Post Branch and operated by China Southern Airlines. It runs once a week and runs every Wednesday. China Southern Airlines Jilin Branch stated that in the future, it will strive to increase flight cycles based on actual conditions to meet the logistics needs of related parties.

  Compared with mature cargo airlines, passenger airlines have obvious shortcomings in terms of basic conditions, service capabilities, and operating costs in carrying out "passenger conversion". However, under the epidemic situation, "passenger-to-cargo" has become the emergency choice of many airlines.

Yanji Airport issued a "passenger to cargo" flight for the first time. Photo by Zhang Xiaona

  According to data from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, from March to June this year, on the basis of all-cargo flights, 11,771 additional “passenger-to-cargo” flights were added across the country, and the proportion of “passenger-to-cargo” flights accounted for more than 50%.

  As of the end of 2019, Yanji Airport has 5 routes to South Korea, including Seoul, Cheongju, Busan, Daegu, and Muan. Since its establishment in 1952, this is the first time that Yanji Airport has issued a "passenger-to-cargo" flight.

  According to Yanji Airport, this time the reopening of the air passage to South Korea by means of Unicom postal route is also helpful to the restoration of passenger routes. More importantly, this attempt will provide the airport with valuable experience in exploring the comprehensive development of passenger and cargo. (Finish)