After operating a series of charter flights, European freight carrier Cargolux Airlines International will inaugurate regular scheduled services between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou, the capital of Chinese province Henan, on April 24, 2014.
The new scheduled link marks the beginning of the partnership between Cargolux and its new shareholder Henan Civil Aviation and Investment Co., Ltd (HNCA), which will own a 35 per cent stake in the freight carrier after the closing of the share transaction at the end of April.
Cargolux intends to operate at least four weekly flights to Zhengzhou and will start with scheduled weekly flight ‘CV9744’ on Thursdays and flight ‘CV9746’ every Saturday. Both flights will be routed via Baku in Azerbaijan and will arrive at Zhengzhou’s Xinzheng International Airport the following evening. The return flights will depart the capital of Henan Province as ‘CV9755’ and ‘CV9757’ on Fridays and Sundays, respectively.
Zhengzhou is ideally located in central China with daily road feeder services to coastal cities such as Beijing and Shanghai and reaches far inland providing faster and more economical services to inland cities such as Xi’an, Wuhan, Chengdu and Chongqing. The city’s Xingzhen International Airport is being developed into a major national and international air cargo and logistics hub as part of China’s national development plans for its central region.
As part of a commercial cooperation agreement between Cargolux and HNCA, the freight carrier intends to develop a dual-hub strategy centered on Luxembourg’s Findel airport in Europe and on Zhengzhou’s Xinzheng International Airport in Asia and the implementation of regular scheduled air cargo services between the two is a key part of this project.
In addition to continuing and expanding its existing flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen, the new link will enable Cargolux to strengthen its market position in the Asia and Pacific region, meeting the strong logistics demand from one of the world’s most dynamic and fastest developing economies.
The European Union is this past week revealed it has started an inquiry into certain non-EU investments in European airlines and the Cargolux- HNCA deal is one of four it is currently looking at more closely. The commission is concerned that non-EU investors may exert illegal influence over the carriers. "The Commission has asked member states for more details on how these investments comply with EU rules on ownership and control of European airlines," said a statement.