West China set for first carrier

CHINA’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAAC) is expected to approve the launch of the first cargo carrier to be based in the west of the country.
Ningxia Cargo Airlines, which has a registered capital of CNY120m (US$18.98m), has a Boeing fleet of 737 and 747 freighters and plans to use pilots and maintenance and repair organisation professionals from Turkish Orex Orbit Express Airlines.
Shanghai Chongda International Freight Company is the major stakeholder, with a 40 per cent stake in the new airline located in the Ningxia Autonomous Region.
Shan’xi Tongyang Investment Management owns 25 per cent, with the rest of the shares held by Shan’xi Xiangyu Logistics, Xi’an Huijie Logistics and Shan’xi International Air Freight.
Industry analysts claim it will be difficult for Ningxia Cargo to make a profit initially because of the downturn in the industry and the weak competitive position of domestic cargo carriers.
Meanwhile, major integrators FedEx, UPS and DHL still dominate the market in the economically strong Eastern China.
The launch of Ningxia Cargo comes after the CAAC revealed it would not approve any new start-ups until 2010 unless they were cargo carriers, West China-based carriers or businesses operating domestically produced regional aircraft.
It is understood the body took the decision because there were too many privately-run domestic carriers after restrictions were loosened in 2004. 

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