Cherries to China: A new trade lane blossoms

MidAmerica St. Louis Airport (BLV) and China’s Ningbo Lishe International Airport (NGB) look set to fi nally see the fruition of their efforts at creating a new unique perishables trade route. The two secondary airports, supported by government trade bodies teamed up to match shippers and buyers between China and Latin America in early 2012 and have fi nally secured the missing piece of the puzzle – an air cargo carrier. By Donald Urquhart.


Cherries to China: A new trade lane blossoms


Aurora Air International, a cargo airline which until this announcement in early October during the TIACA Air Cargo Forum in Seoul had been dormant for nearly 20 years, plans to establish a new headquarters at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport. Aurora is teaming up with MidAmerica and Ningbo to supply scheduled air service using DC-10-40 freighters on the LATAM to MidAmerica and ultimately to Asia and return route.

With the fi rst flights to begin in the Spring of 2015, the airline’s founder and chairman Steve Crittendon – who has a colourful history from his days as former head of Crittendon Air Transport (CAT) in the mid-70’s – said: “I look forward to reestablishing the airline along with partnering with BLV (MidAmerica) and NGB (Ningob Lishe International) as their first international scheduled all cargo service.”

Th e decision to base at MidAmerica came about because Aurora Air Cargo recognised the site and operations as a key step in its plans to open Asian and Latin American trade lanes that will serve unique and needed support for perishable and pharmaceutical supplies from the Midwest USA.

“As airplanes start to operate out of MidAmerica a new, closed, safe, certified, secure cold chain will be available to USA Midwest product shippers to and from Asia and Latin American with less handling and ground movement than is available today,” said Aurora president Carlos Smith. “Asian and Latin American shippers will enjoy this route as their goods, especially perishable goods, are not double and triple handled in the USA en route to the other continent.”