Cathay Cargo Freighter Service Returns to Ho Chi Minh City


Cathay Cargo celebrated the return of its freighter service to Ho Chi Minh City on April 4, 2024.

The air cargo service resumption comes after a four-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. This marks a significant step forward in Cathay Cargo’s commitment to the Vietnamese market.

Ho Chi Minh City: Weekly Freighter Service

The new service, flight CX3148, operates every Thursday, departing from Ho Chi Minh City. Following a brief stop in Hanoi, the freighter continues its journey to Hong Kong before returning.

This strategic route complements Cathay Cargo’s existing six weekly freighter flights from Hanoi to Hong Kong, providing even greater cargo capacity and flexibility for businesses in Vietnam.

Cathay Pacific’s connection to Vietnam stretches back to 1949, when the very first passenger flight carried a substantial amount of cargo. This saw the shipment of essential items like diplomatic mail and fresh produce.

Recognizing the importance of the Vietnamese market, Cathay Cargo began dedicated freighter services. These first started operation from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in 2008.

Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Impressive Cargo Volumes Reflecting Market Vibrancy

In 2023 alone, Cathay Cargo handled the shipment of nearly 2,000 tonnes of cargo from Vietnam each month.

Notably, around 600 tonnes were carried on Cathay Pacific’s twice daily passenger flights departing from Ho Chi Minh City.

These shipments primarily consisted of garments, footwear, fruits, and live or frozen seafood heading for key markets. This includes markets like Hong Kong, mainland China, Northeast Asia, Australia, and North America.

Beyond increased cargo capacity, the reinstated freighter service supports shippers in Ho Chi Minh City with access to Cathay Cargo’s specialized solutions.

Cathay Expert caters to oversized cargo, while Cargo-Aircraft-Only caters to specific dangerous goods. This specialization offers businesses greater flexibility and control over their shipments.

Ashish Kapur, Regional Head of Cargo, Southeast Asia welcomed the service restoration at a time when cargo demand is rising.

“We are thrilled to welcome back our freighter service to Ho Chi Minh City. Factories are ramping up production and air cargo demand is flourishing. This is the perfect time to re-establish our freighter service in Vietnam’s economic hub.”

“Combined with our existing twice-daily passenger flights, this expanded service empowers local businesses with a wider range of options, particularly our specialized solutions tailored to their specific needs.”

“Whether it’s the latest fashions or the freshest produce. We remain committed to partnering with Vietnamese businesses to showcase their products to the world.”

Nicolas Masse, Country Manager for Vietnam and Cambodia spoke of the anticipation of the route resumption.

“Our Ho Chi Minh City team eagerly awaited the return of the freighter service. We’ve been diligently preparing to ensure operational readiness on the ground and the ability to swiftly respond to our customers’ diverse needs.”

“Our team of experts stands ready to collaborate with cargo handling agents to deliver exceptional service.”


Cathay Cargo remains dedicated to becoming the world’s leading customer-centric air cargo service. This commitment is reflected in their ongoing investments in building air cargo expertise.

In catering to customer needs, they differentiate themselves from competitors in the Hong Kong international aviation hub. Recent advancements include:

  • Ultra Track: A next-generation tracking and tracing tool.
  • Click & Ship: Empowering customers with online purchasing and confirmation.
  • Revamped Specialist Handling Solutions.
  • Infrastructure upgrades, including the Pharma Handling Centre at the Cathay Cargo Terminal.
  • Digitalization of processes and data-driven performance measurement.

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