“Cargolux China” joint-venture to take flight


Cargolux, Europe’s largest freight airline, has formally signed the deal to launch Henan Cargo Airlines, the joint venture that had been unofficially dubbed “Cargolux China”. Pictured: A Cargolux jet is seen flying near Kogyodanchi airport in Japan on 9 September 2012. Photo: Takashi Ota (CC BY 2.0) 

Cargolux has formally inked the agreement to create its joint venture in China, several industry publications have reported.

The new carrier will be called Henan Cargo Airlines, despite being dubbed “Cargolux China” in the press over the past few years.

Talks on starting the operation began in 2014, when HNCA, a development firm owned by China’s Henan province, took a 35% stake in the all freight airline.

The joint venture agreement had reportedly been stalled by Chinese regulatory concerns.

Luxembourg’s prime minister, Xavier Bettel, and China’s prime minister, Li Keqiang, signed the deal in Beijing on 12 June, Air Cargo News reported on Monday.

The news was also reported by Air Cargo World, Aircargo Asia-Pacific and Heavy Lift.

Cargolux will hold 25% of the joint venture’s shares, and a consortium led by HNCA will hold the other 75%, Cargolux said in a press release.

Air Cargo News said:

“This appears to be a slight change in the originally-planned shareholder structure. In February 2016, it was stated that Cargolux’s $77m investment would give it a 35% share in the Chinese carrier, with HNCA taking a 49% stake, and with both Xinggang Investment & Development Co of Zhengzhou Airport Comprehensive Economic Experimental Zone and the Henan Airport Group holding 8% each.”

Cargolux said that the first flights are expected to take off during the fourth quarter of 2018.

UPDATED: This article has been amended to reflect Cargolux’s official announcement. A previous version of this article misstated the ownership stakes in the joint venture.