LUXEMBOURG: January 20, 2016. Following this month’s visit to Beijing by two Luxembourg government officials, Cargolux is to invest US$77 million for a 35 percent share in ‘Cargolux China’, a new airline based at its hub in Zhengzhou, China.
Other shareholders in the joint venture are the Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company (HNCA), which will hold 49 percent; the Xin Gang Investment & Development Company, Zhengzhou Airport Comprehensive Economic Experimental Zone, with 8.0 percent; and the Henan Airport Group Company with the remaining 8.0 percent.
HNCA, which also owns 35 percent of Cargolux, is a state-owned enterprise supporting the development of the Zhengzhou Airport Economy Zone and promoting the transformation of Central China’s Economic Zone.
The Xin Gang Investment & Development Company is a private construction company founded in Zhengzhou in 2012 and is responsible for the development of the 415 sq.km. Zhengzhou airport economic zone.
The Henan Airport Group is the operator of Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, and one of the country’s eight national Category 1 airports. By 2040 the airport says it will have five runways and capacity to handle three million tons annually.
Cargolux said its new joint venture airline would begin operations next year focusing on transpacific and intra-Asian routes and have five 747 freighters within the first three years of operation. The airline group, which includes ‘Cargolux Italia’ with four 747s, expects to operate 30 aircraft by 2017.
Luxembourg airport has reported a 4.2 percent increase in cargo throughput in 2015 to over 738,000 tons. The airport said the highest growth was in October and November (+9.0 percent), August (+8.0 percent) and July (+7.0 percent).
Cargolux, which is the largest cargo operator at Luxembourg, last year added daily flights to Zhengzhou, Chennai, India (with Oman Air) and Turkmenbashi, Turkmenistan.
Panalpina was the second largest cargo operator in 2015 followed by former Cargolux shareholder Qatar Airways in third place after it increased flights from three to five a week.
The airport said China Airlines and Silk Way West Airlines made up the top five cargo airlines last year and noted some unusual shipments in 2015 including 2,120 horses (up 34 percent), 73,821 day-old chicks (+89 percent), 1,589 dogs (+150 percent), 643 Alpacas (+315 percent), 86 hamsters, two donkeys and one hyena.