China: first direct fruit-laden flights arrive from Chile

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China: first direct fruit-laden flights arrive from Chile

As part of a new flight route, China Eastern Airlines brought 108 metric tons (MT) of Chilean blueberries and cherries to Shanghai this week in a timeframe of 26.5 hours, news agency EFE reported. China Eastern1

The first shipment arrived Wednesday and a second shipment was due Thursday, the story reported

Tao Jun, who heads up the marketing department at China Eastern logistics subsidiary EAL, told the agency cherry shipments from Chile usually took 10 days or more, with flights from Los Angeles after a sea voyage from Chile. VP Zhao Guozhang told that his company, along with the Chilean Embassy in China and others, had helped drive the new initiative which only involves a short stopover in the U.S. for refueling of the Boeing 747.

"This made history. It is the first direct flight from a South America country to China," Zhao said.

He said the new arrangement would not cut costs much right now but would help for a more affordable price in the market in the long run.

Zhao added there were 150 pallets of cherries on the plane, mostly from exporters  Copefrut and San Francisco Lo Garces, of which 10 pallets were for his company.

He added there was a more ambitious plan underway for direct flights next year, but further details could not be revealed.



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