China Cargo Airlines eyes multinational role

NEWLY-formed China Cargo Airlines, the largest air cargo airline in the Chinese mainland, is looking to restructure its business to become a multinational supply chain service provider.

China Eastern (pictured) has cut its shareholding in the new joint venture to 51 per cent in order to draw investment from Cosco, EVA Airways and Singapore Airlines Cargo.

The company is keen to provide a platform for Chinese and overseas cargo businesses by combining the marketing networks and information advantages of its four shareholders.

China Cargo Airlines will form an air-and-ground delivery network, modernise its real-time tracing of freight data and integrate logistic services between airline and air terminal.

The integrated air and ground services will speed up the cargo flow, Zhang Jianzhong, vice-general manager of China Eastern, said.

China Cargo Airlines has the largest fleet in the Chinese mainland with 11 Boeing freighters, four MD-11s and three A300-600Fs. Two more 777Fs are scheduled to be delivered before the end of the year.

China Cargo Airlines will be also providing bellyhold capacity on the more than 335 China Eastern passenger aircraft, which fly to about 200 destinations.

Since 11 April the airline has been offering transhipment services from Los Angeles (US) to Brazilian cities, capable of handling all kinds of dangerous goods. Earlier this year, it added a regular freighter service between Milan (Italy) and Shanghai (China) to its current round-trip flights from Shanghai to Paris (France), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Luxembourg.

In May, an express route was launched to Hong Kong (China). The airline has seven daily freighter flights from Shanghai to Hong Kong and three flights daily from Hong Kong. It is seeking high-end services that limit delivery time to four or five hours.

Like any Chinese operator, the airline has to overcome the difficulty of filling space on return trips from Europe and North America.

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