September 22 - Cargoitalia, Italy's all-cargo flag-carrier, has commenced direct scheduled services twice weekly to Shanghai Pudong airport from its Milan Malpensa hub, using its recently-delivered third 90-tonne payload MD11 freighter.

The inaugural rotation achieved an average 76 percent load factor, with almost double the cargo booked on the return flight from China compared to the outbound service. The addition of Shanghai to the Cargoitalia network also opens up the potential for transhipment traffic to and from the USA via Milan, using the airline's New York and Chicago services. Next month, the airline will increase frequency to Shanghai to three-times-weekly.

Cargoitalia's commercial director Roberto Gilardoni said: "This is a very promising start for our Shanghai service. Italy now has direct scheduled freighter capacity on this important route, and west-bound traffic is as strong as we anticipated. We expect some imbalance in traffic flows initially, but as Italian industry continues to recover and the market becomes more familiar with our new service, this should even out demand east-bound."