CHINA: Air China Cargo joint venture takes flight

Officials from Air China and Cathay Pacific, along with Chinese government officials, celebrate the launch of the two carrier’s joint venture cargo airline, Air China Cargo. Air China Cargo (ACC), the Shanghaibased joint venture cargo carrier announced last year, has taken flight following a ceremony in Beijing to mark the milestone development. Operated as a […]


Officials from Air China and Cathay Pacific, along with Chinese government officials, celebrate the launch of the two carrier’s joint venture cargo airline, Air China Cargo. Air China Cargo (ACC), the Shanghaibased joint venture cargo carrier announced last year, has taken flight following a ceremony in Beijing to mark the milestone development. Operated as a joint venture cargo carrier between Air China and Cathay Pacific, the mainland’s largest carrier has a 51 per cent equity interest while the HK carrier has a 25 per cent equity interest together with a 24 per cent economic interest. With its principal operating base in Shanghai, the joint venture will soon have a fleet of 12 Boeing 747-400 freighters, with the initial fleet made up of four B747-400 freighters transferred from Cathay. China’s continued economic growth in recent years has helped turn the country into one of the world’s fastestgrowing air cargo markets. Faster fleet development has been enabled through the joint venture, Cathay said, helping ACC to achieve economies of scale and consolidate its market position. Choosing Shanghai as its principal operating base ensures that ACC is well positioned to capture business opportunities out of the Yangtze River Delta region, which accounts for twothirds of China’s air cargo business. In addition, the cargo belly space provided through Air China’s extensive domestic and international passenger network will also provide strong impetus to ACC’s global business development. As an extension of the strategic cross-shareholding relationship between Air China and Cathay Pacific, “the joint venture helps raise the core competitiveness of ACC, facilitate the development of China’s air cargo hub, and achieve greater social efficiency and corporate economic effectiveness,” Cathay said. The joint venture carrier will capitalise on the brand advantages and management excellence of both Air China and Cathay Pacific “to accelerate its internationalisation process, enhance its core competitiveness,” as it strives for its goal of developing ACC into a Chinabased air cargo airline with international competitiveness. The ACC board of directors consists of four, including the chairman, appointed by Air China, while three, including the vice chairman, are appointed by the Cathay Pacific. Air China, a Star Alliance member, has controlling interests in Shenzhen Airlines and Air Macau and equity interests in Cathay Pacific and Shandong Aviation Group and as at the end of 2010, operated a fleet of 272 aircraft to 141 destinations worldwide. Cathay Pacific, a founding member of oneworld alliance has, as at the end of 2010, a fleet of 104 passenger aircraft and 24 B747 freighters operating to 141 destinations worldwide. Cathay has 91 new aircraft on order which includes an order for 10 of Boeing new B747-8 freighter.