Chinese cargo carriers set for merger?
25 / 06 / 2015
Update: Three of China’s largest cargo airlines look set to merge in a move that would form Asia’s largest airfreight carrier.
According to Reuters, China’s Civil Aviation Administration deputy director Zhou Laizhen said on Wednesday night that Air China Cargo, China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Cargo were exploring merger options.
No timeline or valuation of the merger was provided.
Fast expanding Air China Cargo is a joint venture freight project between Air China and Cathay Pacific. At the end of June it owned three Boeing 747-400 freighters and six B777Fs. It has a further two B777Fs on order, due for delivery this year.
It also owns four B757-200SF air freighters, which are chartered for mail transport, and the airline exclusively operates all belly capacity of Air China.
Once it takes delivery of its additional 777s, it claims it will become China’s largest cargo airline.
Air China Cargo’s main hubs are Beijing and Shanghai and it operates international, domestic and regional cargo flights to Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Zaragoza, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Chengdu, Chongqing, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Nanjing, Changchun and Shenyang.
It has a registered capital of Y3.2bn and over 4,200 employees.
SkyTeam Cargo alliance member China Cargo Airlines was established as a joint venture between China Eastern and China Ocean Shipping Company in 1998. Since then, Eva Air and Singapore Airlines have also become stakeholders.
According to the SkyTeam website, the business currently operates 14 cargo routes and has access to China Eastern bellyspace. It offers services to more than 200 destinations.
China Southern Cargo, part of China Southern Airlines, operates six B777-200 and two B747-400 freighters. By the end of 2015, six more B777-200 freighters will join its fleet.
It provides freighter services from Guangzhou and Shanghai to Qingdao, Chongqing, Amsterdam, Vienna, Frankfurt, Los Angeles, Chicago and Vancouver, as well as having access to the China Southern bellyhold network.
It plans to add more freighter services to cities in Europe, the US and Japan.