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October 29, 2009

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Shanghai To Be Home To Biggest Cargo JV

AIR China and Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways will jointly set up China's biggest cargo joint venture in Shanghai next spring as the two carriers eye the booming cargo demand in the city.

"The venture is expected to be launched ahead of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo but still requires regulatory approval," Kong Dong, chairman of Beijing-based Air China, said yesterday on the sidelines of a ceremony to celebrate Continental Airlines' entry into Star Alliance, one of three major global airline groupings.

"We are confident that the JV will benefit from Shanghai's growing cargo demand. The city handled 3 million tons of cargo last year, exceeding Hong Kong to become the biggest cargo market in China," Kong said, adding that Air China hopes to learn from the Cathay Pacific's international experience in the air cargo business via the venture.

Air China, the nation's flagship international carrier, will hold 51 percent in the venture and Cathay Pacific will take the balance, Kong said without revealing the size of investment.

The two carriers will provide 10 Boeing 747-400 jets to the new venture, he added.

Air China in August agreed to raise its stake in Cathay Pacific to 29.99 percent from 17.49 percent.


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