Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport, 30 per cent owned by the Hong Kong Airport Authority, handled 30 per cent more cargo year on year in the first nine months of this year due to a cargo spillover from Shanghai Airport. Hong Kong Dragon Airlines (Dragonair) is preparing to take a slice of the Xiaoshan cake, kicking off a cargo service there by the end of this year. The airport is undergoing the second phase of a renovation that costs 6.7 billion yuan. The Airport Authority injected 1.99 billion yuan into the facility in April. The deal between the Hong Kong airport operator and Xiaoshan Airport is still awaiting final approval from the State Council, according to Xiaoshan Airport vice-general manager, Zhang Dezhi. He said the aim was to position Xiaoshan Airport as a supplement to Shanghai Airport and Nanjin Airport. A tremendous increase in cargo demand in the Yangtze River Delta, which includes Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, brought Xiaoshan Airport a lot of cargo business. Between 80 per cent and 90 per cent of cargo handled in Xiaoshan Airport originated in or is destined for Shanghai. Xiaoshan Airport handled 120,000 tonnes of air cargo in the first nine months of this year, up 30 per cent year on year. Mr Zhang projected that the airport could take 210,000 tonnes of air cargo this year, up 40 per cent from last year. He also predicted that the airport could handle 270,000 tonnes next year. Dragonair has scheduled to roll out a cargo service at Hangzhou airport before December. Mr Zhang said Dragonair would launch five scheduled flights per week from Hong Kong to Qingdao via Hangzhou. Besides Dragonair, All Nippon Airways is preparing to kick off its service between Tokyo and Hangzhou next year. Malaysia Airlines and Korean Airlines are the other foreign airlines with a presence in Hangzhou Airport. Malaysia Airlines originally planned to double its cargo service to 11 times a week in the second half. However, the plan has been jeopardised by the lack of aircraft capacity in the region. Mr Zhang said that the demand from exporters in the Yangtze River Delta was so huge that even doubling air freight capacity could not help ease the problem.