Barely two years after commencing flights between its Luxembourg and Zhengzhou hubs, Cargolux Airlines International announced that cargo volume on this route has surpassed 100,000 tonnes, just eight months after the carrier announced hitting the 50,000-tonne mark last October.
Cargolux president and CEO, Dirk Reich, highlighted Cargolux China’s plans for its network noting the success of Cargolux’s relationship with its Chinese partner, Henan Civil Aviation and Investment Co. (HNCA).
“We are proud to have established a highly successful cooperation with our Chinese partners in such a short time,” Reich noted. “With the help of HNCA, we have been able to build a substantial presence in one of the world’s most important markets. Today, we enjoy a mutually beneficial, successful relationship of trust and respect that has enabled us to reach several historic milestones together.
“Linking Zhengzhou to Chicago and beyond offers unique opportunities for shippers and manufacturers on both sides of the Pacific and I can happily say that the Cargolux service has been warmly welcomed by our customers in China and the US.”
Cargolux’s ‘Dual Hub’ strategy
Over the past two years, Cargolux and HNCA have worked closely to establish Zhengzhou Xingzheng International Airport as a key hub in accordance with Cargolux’s ‘Dual Hub Development Strategy’. The strategy aims to give Cargolux a truly global network with a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region, a goal lent a significant boost with the start of weekly flights between Zhengzhou and Chicago in April 2015. That year, Cargolux together with HNCA, extended the dual hub with the unveiling of ‘LuxFresh,’ an e-commerce platform bringing competitively-priced delicatessen, sourced from Luxembourg and elsewhere in Europe, directly to consumers in Henan.
Cargolux now operates seven flights per week between Zhengzhou and Luxembourg’s Findel Airport in addition to several weekly flights to and from Milan, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Chicago. The carrier operates a total of over 100 weekly flights into Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taipei from destinations around the world.
Cargolux China on track for 2017
In January earlier this year, Cargolux Group finalised a shareholder agreement and approved a US$77 million investment for a new cargo joint venture (JV) with HNCA. Zhengzhou-based Cargolux China is on track to be fully operational by late 2017, pending completion of all formalities with the Civil Aviation Authority of China, CAAC. The venture will initially launch with three B747F aircraft, with plans to expand to five within the following three years, in addition to the parent carrier’s 24 freight fleet based in Europe.
Cargolux China will initially focus on transpacific routes between China and the US, which will account for an estimated 80 per cent of all business. The remainder of the venture’s focus will be on intra-Asian routes, though Cargolux China aims to secure additional routes to Africa, Oceania and Latin America in the future. In addition to strengthening Cargolux’s presence in the Asia Pacific region, the joint venture will play a fundamental role in further increasing the Cargolux group of companies’ global market share.
The rise and rise of Zhengzhou
“Economic transformation is opening up new possibilities for inland cities throughout China. Nowhere is this more obvious than Zhengzhou, where a combination of state intervention and pro-developmental reform is helping the city to rapidly emerge as Central China’s next high growth area and most important economy,” Cargolux said.
With 30 airlines connecting to 98 different national and international cities, Zhengzhou’s Xinzheng International Airport is one of China’s fastest-growing and most important aviation hubs. Between 2010 and 2015, cargo volume from Xinzheng International increased from 85,800 to 403,000 tonnes, growing by 40 per cent yearly on average making it the eighth-ranked air cargo hub in China.
Cargolux also offers fast, scheduled road feeder services to 20 Chinese cities, linking Zhengzhou with major industrial and business centers throughout the country.