BEIJING, China – China is studying the feasibility of merging the cargo businesses of the country’s three major airlines–Air China, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines, Shanghai’s China Business News reports.
Although the State Council’s Assets Supervision and Administration Commission is soliciting opinions from the airline companies, it has not yet come up with a clear plan, according to the report.
Amid a slowdown in the aviation industry, the three carriers’ cargo operations have suffered losses over the past few years. A proposal for merging their cargo operations was first brought forth in 2009 but no substantive progress has been achieved in advancing the plan.
Air China Cargo Company and Cathay Pacific Airways jointly formed an air-cargo venture in 2009, with the former company owning 51% of the new cargo venture.
China Eastern Airlines-affiliated China Cargo Airlines has become a subsidiary of Eastern Air Logistic Company through a series of organizational restructuring moves, while China Southern’s cargo business is operated by its China Southern Cargo.
China currently has about 10 air cargo companies which operate more than 100 cargo planes. The three major cargo airlines own about 33% of cargo jets.