China's SF Group, parent of one of the country's biggest express delivery and logistics firms SF Express, is planning a major international expansion into Southeast Asia and Europe that would see a rapid build-up in its fleet of freighter aircraft.
SF Express currently operates a fleet of 42 aircraft, mostly B737s and B757s of which 22 are owned by its unit, SF Airlines.
Reuters report quoted Zep Lee, CEO for SF Group's international business unit, as saying that the Group will continue to enlarge its fleet and increase the number of aircraft in the future. "Growth in the number of our self-owned aircraft will be in the double-digits next year," he said, adding that he expected this trend to continue for several years. Which types of freighters SF Express intends to obtain the manager did not specify.
Taking the next step
SF Express' current network covers more than a dozen countries including the U.S. and Japan. It plans to expand to Britain, France and Germany as well as to Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos in the coming year.
It is also looking at establishing a centralised cargo hub in China for its aircraft, which are currently based at several hubs throughout the country.
Established in 1993 by founder and chairman Wang Wei, SF Express has grown rapidly into one of China's biggest delivery firms. It has more than 15,500 service centres, mostly in China, and employs 346,000 staff.
Nol van Fenema