There is no doubt in most peoples minds that China is the most attractive economic region for the future. The past two decades have shown an enormous increase in domestic spending in the country as well as year-on-year expansion in imports and exports through this vast region. The same applies to China’s airlines which have increased rapidly during the past decade. Passenger and cargo alike.
Tianjin Cargo Airlines readies for operations
The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration, CAAC, is in the process of awarding the latest air cargo airline candidate their Aircraft Operator Certificate (AOC). This time it is Tianjin Cargo Airlines which will be awarded their operating license. The airline applied earlier this year for the mandatory Public Air Transport Business License, which when received will be followed with the granting of their AOC.
The new carrier is not to be confused with Tianjin Airlines, which is a regional passenger airline in China. The new cargo operator is a joint-venture between three Chinese logistics and investment companies who are closely linked in with China Post, Tianjin Airlines itself, the HNA Group and Capital Airport Group which has its main base in Beijing. It is interesting to note that the HNA Group has quite a share in the Tianjin Airlines passenger carrier and will because of this also have a controlling stake in Tianjin Cargo Airlines.
Everybody seems to have a part
HNA Group has shareholdings in quite a few Chinese carriers, also in Suparna Airlines and Turkish-based myCargo Airlines. It is reported that Tianjin Cargo Airlines will be run by You Wenyong who is presently chairman of myCargo Airlines. The fleet will consist of B737 freighters which along with their crews are said to come from Suparna Airlines which runs between ten to twelve of the type.
Fifty-five Chinese airlines in operation
It’s hard to determine exactly how many airlines there are in China.
However, statistics, if all correct, show a total of around 55 different registered carriers in China. This figure does not include passenger or cargo airlines in Hong Kong, Macau or Taiwan. Many are regional carriers who have started up with the help of local regional governments, but quite a few are international airlines with combined passenger/cargo fleets or all cargo carriers.
There are eight all-cargo airlines in service which run domestic and international cargo services. These are joined by a further four who are traditionally passenger carriers but who in the meantime have sizable all-cargo fleets.
Before the turn of the century, there were only two or three Chinese airlines. The vast majority of today’s carriers from China started up after the year 2000.
The growth won’t stop there either. Another candidate - China Air Cargo, based in Guangzhou and not to be confused with Air China Cargo or China Cargo Airlines - has just started up services from Shenzhen to Changzhou, located in the Yangtze Delta River.
Getting quite crowded in the Chinese skies.
John Mc Donagh