Cathay Pacific has sold eight A300-600 freighters to DHL International for US$281.89 million and leased them back as part of a deal to gain full control of cargo airline Air Hong Kong.
Cathay owns 60% of Air Hong Kong, with DHL International holding the remainder. In a statement, Cathay is expected to rise its stake to 100% after a joint venture agreement expires at the end of
The two companies had agreed to a non-binding memorandum of understanding in July before finalising the deal.
Cathay said proceeds from the freighter sale would be applied to the general working capital requirements of Air Hong Kong, and the cargo carrier would operate an agreed freighter network to Asian destinations for DHL.
Completion of the sale of five A300-600Fs is expected by Dec. 31, with three more to be sold by the end of 2018.
Massive Hong Kong investments
In another development, DHL Express has announced a US$395 million expansion plan for its Central Asia Hub (CAH), in partnership with the Airport Authority Hong Kong.
As one of three global hubs for DHL, the expanded CAH will continue to act as the core hub of the DHL Express global and Asia Pacific regional network, handling more than 40% of its total Asia Pacific shipment volumes.
Ken Allen, CEO of DHL Express, said: "Based in a strategically important location to DHL, the expanded Central Asia Hub in Hong Kong will not only bolster our operational capacity in Asia Pacific, but also facilitate the rapidly-growing international trade demands in the region and around the world."
Big leap in capacity
The expanded CAH will be equipped with an enhanced material handling system that will improve productivity and increase the hub's throughput capacity - from the current 75,000 pieces of shipments per hour to 125,000 pieces per hour. When operating at its full capacity, the annual throughput of the expanded CAH is expected to go up by 50% to 1.06 million tonnes per annum. As a dedicated and purpose-built air express cargo facility at the Hong Kong International Airport, the expanded CAH will handle six times more in terms of shipment volume than when it was first established in 2004.
The expanded CAH is expected to begin operations in Q1 2022, in time to capture strong demand in the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region and completion of the Three Runway System for the Hong Kong International Airport in 2024. The expansion of the CAH will deliver about 50% increase in warehouse space to 47,000 square meters.
Strategically located in Hong Kong, the CAH is complemented by a well-established Asia Air Network which is served by over 800 commercial daily flights.
Nol van Fenema
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