Aviation services provider Menzies Aviation, through its parent company John Menzies plc, is set to take a minor stake in a joint venture with Chinese cargo handler Guangzhou JFreight Aviation Logistics Supply Chain.
The deal, valued at 3.4 million euros, will see Menzies dip into the Chinese air cargo market with a 10 percent stake in JFreight. The company will manage a new cargo terminal at Guanzhou Baiyun International, an air hub considered one of the world’s busiest airports for passenger and cargo.
The cargo terminal will be able to handle 120,000 tonnes per year, equipped with artificial intelligence and robotics applications.
Menzies chair and CEO Philipp Joeinig said the investment is part of the company strategy to balance its portfolio across ground handling, fuels and cargo as it looks to grow in the Chinese market.
“I am delighted to be able to announce expansion into the Chinese cargo market. We are very pleased to have found a great partner in JFreight and I look forward to developing our relationship with them as we move forward,” he added.
JFreight is experienced in artificial intelligence and robotics and has used its technical skills to create a smart terminal with an electronic interaction channel with Chinese customs.
Menzies noted that the initial focus will be on the fast growing Chinese e-commerce market with plans to expand into more general air cargo handling for airlines in the future.