Cathay Pacific Announces First Mexican Berries Shipment to Mainland China

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwired - February 12, 2015) - Cathay Pacific Airways has announced that the airline has carried the first-ever shipment of berries via air cargo from North America to mainland China. The shipment of six tons of fruit from Michoacán and Jalisco on board a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-8F was the first in a commercial and agricultural relationship between Mexico and China.

At Guadalajara International Airport, SAGARPA (agriculture, livestock, rural development, fishing and food) Secretary, Enrique Martínez y Martínez; the Governor of Jalisco, Aristóteles Sandoval; and Governor of Michoacán, Salvador Jara, cut the ribbon that marked the beginning of exports to China of Mexican-grown berries. During the ceremony, Martínez y Martínez described it as a historic day for Mexico's agricultural sector and recognized the efforts of producers, researchers and authorities.

"There is a huge demand for berries in mainland China," said Fred Ruggiero, Vice President of Cargo, Americas, for Cathay Pacific. "Cathay Pacific's hub in Hong Kong is one of the world's key international airfreight centers, strategically located at the gateway to China. We are pleased to be able to connect the superb berry growers of Mexico with eager mainland Chinese consumers and look forward to a successful partnership of increased trade between these two regions."

Four states are involved in this venture: Jalisco, Michoacán, Baja California and Guanajuato. The berry industry represents Mexico's fifth biggest generator of foreign currency generator, with 25 thousand hectares used for the production of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and cranberries. The industry also generates 120 thousand jobs and a commercial value of $900 million a year.

Cathay Pacific has expertise in handling perishables; Hong Kong is the leading super hub for rapid transit of this type of produce and other cargo products. The airline operates five cargo flights per week to Mexico City and Guadalajara, linking the Mexican economy with China -- the only scheduled service from Mexico and the quickest way to move freight from Mexico to Asia. The airline currently operates cargo services to 16 destinations in North America and flies to a total of 43 freighter destinations around the world. Cathay Pacific recently took delivery of its 13th Boeing 747-8F freighter aircraft, with one more on order for delivery in 2016.