Cargolux has revealed plans to launch a joint venture airline in China to be based in Zhengzhou, focusing primarily on the transpacific along with the intra-Asia trade lane in an 80-20 focus, using an initial three B747 freighters, later expanding to five within three years.
Cargolux president and chief executive Dirk Reich, speaking in Luxembourg at the welcoming ceremony for the European cargo airline’s 13th of 14 B747-8Fs it has on order, said the new carrier, tentatively called ‘Cargolux China’ would be a joint venture with its 35 per cent shareholder Henan Civil Aviation Development & Investment (HNCA).
“At this moment the plan is to purchase another five 747s for the project which will be based in China, on top of the existing fleet,” Reich said adding that the plan to create ‘Cargolux China’ is expected to be finalised before the end of the year with a view to starting flights in early 2017 he told Reuters.
Although the wire service reported that Cargolux was considering an order for five more B747-8Fs from Boeing, Reich has been reported as saying the both the initial three and the two to come later could be drawn from both the resale market as well as newbuilds.
Meanwhile, Europe’s largest all-cargo airline, celebrated its 45th anniversary with a special aircraft livery, created by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt, that was applied to its B747-8 freighter delivered on Tuesday. The aircraft, named ‘City of Redange-sur-Attert’, was handed over at Boeing’s Seattle plant and arrived in Luxembourg with a full load of cargo.
“I’m proud to see this aircraft with a very special paint scheme join out fleet,” said Reich. “The 747-8 freighter perfectly suits our worldwide network and its nose-loading and cargo-carrying abilities help us to maintain our leading position in the airfreight industry.”