Wednesday, January 20, 2016

European Air Freight Only Airline Forms New Cargo Carrier Based in China

Expansion at Zhengzhou in Joint Venture with Existing Chinese Partners
Shipping News Feature
LUXEMBOURG – CHINA – Having seemingly got over its recent labour problems with the signing of new collective work agreements with its pilots, the Board of Directors of Cargolux, Europe’s largest freight only airline, has approved an investment of $77 million for ‘Cargolux China’, a new joint venture Chinese cargo airline to be based at a new hub in Zhengzhou. The Luxembourg based group will have a 35% stake in the new venture. The move comes at a significant time as the Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport is planning expansion which will include increased quantities of air cargo.

Shareholders in the new airline will include Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Co. (HNCA) which already owns 35% of Cargolux stock and will have a 49% share, plus Xin Gang Investment & Development Co. (XGID) of the Zhengzhou Airport Comprehensive Economic Experimental Zone and the Henan Airport Group Co., both holding 8% each.

HNCA, a state owned enterprise, is active in the construction of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone as well as a broader brief to upgrade infrastructure in the Central China Economic Zone. XGID is a private company engaged in construction projects and is responsible for the development of the airport economic zone. The 415 square kilometre Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone at Zhengzhou International Airport ranks among the largest economic zones in Central China and the Henan Airport Group is the operator of what is the fastest growing cargo airport in China and designated as one of eight national Category 1 airports in China.

Plans are in place to develop a total of five runways at Zhengzhou, one of which will be dedicated as freight flights only. Cargo capacity is planned to reach over three million tonnes annually, while passenger capacity is predicted to grow to some 70 million annually.

‘Cargolux China’ will be based at Zhengzhou and is expected to start operations in 2017, focusing on transpacific and intra-Asian routes. Its fleet is planned to grow to five 747 freighters within the first three years of operation. ‘Cargolux China’ is the youngest addition to the Cargolux Group which currently operates twenty five 747 freighters, including four operating for Cargolux Italia.