That’s quite a blow. Cargolux announced delaying its maiden flight from Luxembourg to Zhengzhou in China by more than a month, now scheduled to take place on 29 May. Originally, flight CV9744 was planned for departure in the evening of April 24. But unexpectedly the 747-8F’s takeoff had to be cancelled only hours before schedule due to the fact that traffic rights for China were not on hand.
Reasons for the last-minute postponement are indicated in a release published this afternoon (25 April) by the carrier. It reads: “this delay is to enable the airline to finalize all regulatory requirements relating to the commencement of scheduled flights to Zhengzhou.” According to CV they arose due to unforeseen procedural changes in the manner in which information has to be submitted to and approved by the relevant aviation authorities in China.
How did this happen?
There has been much publicity in the past weeks as to CV’s new route to Zhengzhou and the fact that CV’s management sees this as the start of a new era on cooperation with Henan province in China.
Approached by CargoForwarder Global Cargolux’s CEO Dirk Reich assured that in the meantime the requested papers have entirely been submitted by his airline. “All missing documents have been handed over to the Chinese authorities,” noted the manager.
According to Reich, the hiccups that led to the postponement of the Zhengzhou services were caused by two main factors: firstly a change of some internal CV data processes from manual to electronic management and secondly the fact, that the evaluation of suitable diversion airports for the large Boeing 747-8 freighter along the Luxembourg-Zhengzhou route had not yet been completed.
Asked about the new timeframe for commencing services he said that the maiden flight is re-scheduled to take off on 29 May, giving China’s aviation authority sufficient time to check and verify the subsequently submitted documents and data.
In its release the carrier assures that all cargo that had been booked on the flights affected will be re-routed on other CV services operated into China. Hence, “the impact on customers will be minimized.”
The text goes on to say: “whilst this delay in operations was unexpected, the demand for our CGO flights to date has proven to be robust.”
CEO Reich apparently flew on ahead to China in order to be present on the arrival of CV9744. Meanwhile he’s back in Europe.
John Mc Donagh / Heiner Siegmund