The launch of Cargolux China has been blocked by Cargolux’s plan to hold 35% of the shares in the joint venture, instead of the 25% indicated under Chinese law. Luxembourg’s government plans to lobby for an exemption. Pictured: A Cargolux Boeing 747 christened “City of Zhengzhou”, the city where Cargolux’s partner HNCA and the proposed Cargolux China is based, is seen on 23 April 2016. Image credit: Daihyun Ji (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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Cargolux China will not begin operations before the end of next year. The joint venture between Luxembourg’s freight airline and Chinese infrastructure investment firm HNCA was first mooted in 2014. However, the earliest it will be up and running is the fourth quarter of 2018, Richard Forson, CEO of Cargolux, said during a financial presentation. Chinese law indicates, but apparently does not strictly impose, a limit of a 25% stake in airlines by foreign firms, according to François Bausch, Luxembourg’s Déi Gréng (Green) infrastructure minister. However, Cargolux had planned to take a 35% stake. Xavier Bettel, the DP prime minister, plans to raise this issue during an official visit to the Middle Kingdom later this year.