Cargolux board approves $77 million investment in Chinese carrier

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The Cargolux Airlines board of directors has approved an investment of $77 million for Cargolux China, a new Chinese cargo airline joint venture based at Zhengzhou in China.

The investment represents a 35 per cent share in the new airline for Cargolux. 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 Boeing 747 Freighters within the first three years of operation. Cargolux China is the youngest addition to the Cargolux Group which operates 25 747 freighters, including four for Cargolux Italia. With the China joint venture, the Cargolux will expand its fleet to 30 aircraft by 2017.

Other shareholders are Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Co (HNCA), which will hold 49 per cent, Xin Gang Investment & Development of Zhengzhou Airport Comprehensive Economic Experimental Zone with eight per cent and the Henan Airport Group Co, which holds the remaining eight per cent.

HNCA, which is also a 35 per cent shareholder in Cargolux, is a state-owned enterprise, concentrating on the development of the civil aviation industry, the construction of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone, promoting the transformation and upgrading of the Central China Economic Zone by participating in aviation infrastructure construction and the development of related industries.

Xin Gang Investment & Development Co was founded in Zhengzhou in 2012 as a private company engaged in construction projects and is responsible for the development of the airport economic zone.

The 160 square mile Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone at Zhengzhou International Airport ranks among the largest economic zones in Central China with remarkable growth in industrial investment, economic output and trade volumes.

Henan Airport Group is the operator of Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, the fastest growing cargo airport in China and designated as one of eight national Category 1 airports in China.

The airport’s master plan through to 2040 foresees five runways, one of which will be solely dedicated to cargo flights, four passenger terminals and expanded cargo facilities. Cargo capacity is planned to reach over three million tonnes annually, while passenger capacity will grow to 70 million annually.