The development of its Zhengzhou hub this year is evidence that Cargolux Airlines’ focus remains firmly on China, the carrier tells Air Cargo Week (ACW).
The hub, developed in cooperation with the Henan Civil Aviation Development & Investment Co (HNCA), the Luxembourg-based cargo airline’s Chinese shareholder, enables Cargolux to offer fast, scheduled road feeder services to 20 Chinese cities, linking Zhengzhou with major industrial and business centres.
The creation of the hub also facilitated the launch of a twice-weekly trans-Pacific service between Zhengzhou and Chicago.
Cargolux president and chief executive officer, Dirk Reich, referred to the new service as a milestone in the development of the company’s Chinese operations. He predicted that it will bring “unique opportunities for shippers and manufacturers on both sides of the Pacific ”.
The Chicago services are expected to increase to four weekly round trips before the end of the year.
Cargolux already operates seven weekly frequencies between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou. In June, the airline launched a Milan to Zhengzou service. Flights stop in Novosibirsk (Russia), which make this the first commercial Cargolux service to Russia. Commodities on the Milan – Zhengzou route include Italian fashion goods, machinery and mechanical spare parts, Cargolux reports.
More recently, the carrier announced a second service to Chennai (India). This launched in August, and is the result of a partnership between Cargolux and Oman Air.
This is intended to open up new freighter destinations to both Oman Air and Cargolux and to contribute to the development of Oman’s logistics hub.
The partnership expects to build on the success of this service by expanding its airfreight services from Oman to destinations in China, Europe, Africa and the US, Cargolux explains in a statement last month.
Cargolux, executive vice president sales and marketing, Niek van der Weide, says: “The importance and value of the cooperation and partnership with Oman Air which made the reintroduction of cargo services to India possible and, effective 11 August, we will go to two weekly flights ex Chennai.
“India will be a very important market for Cargolux in the future and we will look at further expansion soon with planned addition of Bombay as a 2nd destination.”
The Cargolux network currently covers 90 destinations, some 70 of which are served on scheduled all-cargo flights.