The Hong Kong-based unit of China International Trust and Investment Corp (Citic) has agreed to pay Yn550m for a 25 per cent stake in Air China Cargo Co, one of three big dedicated cargo carriers. The investment, which still needs regulatory approval, would be Citic Pacific's first in the mainland's aviation sector, although it does hold a 25.8 per cent stake in the Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific Airways. The other founding investors are Air China, which will hold 51 per cent, and Beijing Capital International Airport Co, with 24 per cent.
The joint venture will acquire Air China's existing cargo operation and will own four Boeing 747-200 freighters. The US planemaker predicts that the mainland's air cargo traffic will increase by 10.3 per cent annually over the next two decades.
Meanwhile, DHL Worldwide Express has increased its stake in Air Hong Kong by 10 per cent to 40 per cent for an undisclosed sum. Cathay Pacific owns the remaining share. Air Hong Kong signed an agreement in March to buy six new Airbus freighters. DHL plans to build a new express cargo terminal at Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok airport.