China-US cargo talks begin

CHINA Cargo Airline, the largest airfreight operator in China, is negotiating a deal for cargo flights at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in Missouri, US.

The move follows President Jintao’s signing of a US$19 billion contract with Boeing for 200 aircraft during his visit to the US recently.

“This is an important step. It’s not the end game,” Mike Jones, chairman of the Midwest China Hub Commission, says. “We are now at the place we have been trying to get to for two years: being in a room with a Chinese carrier, backed by the Chinese government, to negotiate freight for Lambert airport.”

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is currently reviewing plans to improve its infrastructure, ground facilities and flight options in order to compete with the handful of airports in the US which handle international freight – Chicago, Los Angeles and Miami.

In December China Eastern Airline Corporation merged its three cargo subsidiaries – China Cargo Airlines, Shanghai Airlines Cargo and Great Wall Airlines – into China Cargo.

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