HK's second carrier doubles airfreight services to the commercial hub, providing 12 slots a week Hong Kong Dragon Airlines (Dragonair) next week will double its cargo services to Shanghai as the mainland-focused carrier tries to capture a bigger share of the high-end trade generated in China's commercial heartland. Dragonair from Tuesday will boost the frequency of its Shanghai freighter services to 12 per week, adding six more flights with a 40-tonne capacity Airbus A300F. About 60 per cent of the space from the new service will be reserved for express goods generated by its partner DHL Express. 'The additional services are largely being driven by our on-going relationship with DHL and the continued growth of the Shanghai market,' cargo general manager Albert Yau said. The region's largest express operator by sales, DHL's express revenue passed US$300 million last year, which the firm said represented about 40 per cent of China's international express market. Dragonair now serves the Shanghai market six times a week with a Boeing 747 freighter and uses an Airbus A330 passenger plane at night to move DHL cargo. However, Mr Yau said using passenger aircraft that would otherwise sit idle at night to move freight was 'not the best way to handle express cargo', so it leased the A300F for a year from Express.Net Airlines. Hong Kong's No2 carrier will also use the aircraft to increase from two to three its weekly cargo flights to Osaka and to launch a weekly service to Nanjing, both on June 18. Foreign cargo operators are increasingly turning to Nanjing, about 200km northwest of Shanghai, because of a shortage of landing slots at Shanghai Pudong International Airport. Nanjing and Hangzhou, 170km southwest of Shanghai, are gaining growing reputations as viable alternate gateways to the booming Yangtze River Delta's manufacturing heartland. 'It was a tough decision between Hangzhou and Nanjing because they're both good potential markets,' Mr Yau said. 'But there are more foreign cargo carriers flying to Nanjing at the moment, so their handlers are a little more experienced. Still, Hangzhou is definitely on our list.'