Cargolux may buy five 747s, says China gloom overstated

Tue Sep 29, 2015 10:50am EDT
 
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By Tim Hepher

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) - Cargolux is in talks with Boeing to buy five more 747-8F freighter jets, the head of Europe’s largest all-freight carrier said on Tuesday.

Such a deal could be worth $1.9 billion at list prices.

The aircraft would serve a planned joint venture between Cargolux and its 35 percent shareholder Henan Civil Aviation Development & Investment (HNCA) to be based in Zhengzhou, north central China.

"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,” Chief Executive Dirk Reich told Reuters after taking delivery of the 13th out of 14 of the 747-8 freighters that the Luxembourg-based carrier has already ordered.

Plans for 'Cargolux China' are expected to be finalised before the end of the year with a view to starting flights in early 2017, Reich said in an interview.

Cargolux already operates a hub at Zhengzhou, home to the main production base of Apple's primary iPhone assembler known as Foxconn.

Shipments from there have surged in recent weeks amid strong demand for the latest models, he said.

"Especially in the last weeks before the weekend of the (iPhone 6s) introduction, we have seen big shipments from China to all over the world particularly the U.S.," Reich said.   Continued...

 
An element of a wing of the dismantled Solar Impulse 2 aircraft is carried towards a Cargolux Boeing 747 cargo aircraft at Payerne airport January 5, 2015.   REUTERS/Denis Balibouse