China Southern Airlines (NYSE: ZNH) (HKSE: 1055), the largest airline in The
People's Republic of China is pleased to announce that it has reached an
agreement to wet-lease a Boeing 747-400 freighter from Atlas Air and today has
launched an all new cargo route between Shenzhen - Shanghai and Liege, Belgium.
In combination with its Boeing widebody 777 service from Amsterdam to Beijing
and Guangzhou, China Southern Airlines now offers four weekly "belly" and
direct 747-400 cargo flights from Europe to China which will be the code-share
flights between China Southern Airlines & TNT Airways.
Today's announcement comes on the heels of China Southern Airlines' second 747-400F service - currently operating Los Angeles-Shanghai-Shenzhen. China Southern Airlines has established cargo service from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport with continuing cargo service to Shenzhen International Airport in Southern China.
"Clearly this is another major step forward in our plans to be China's International cargo carrier of choice," said Mr. Li Kun, Vice President of China Southern said in the inaugural reception.
In 2001, cargo and mail volume on China Southern Airlines totaled 397,400 tons, accounting for 23.07% of all air cargo carried in China that year.
From January to September 2002, the cargo and mail volume carried on China Southern Airlines was 277,000 tons, 16.6% increase compared to the same period in 2001 and revenue increased more than 14%.
"China Southern Airlines is seizing the new business opportunities brought about by China's entry in the WTO and is implementing an all-new strategy to expand its cargo business. We've created an all-new Cargo Department to specialize in cargo business management and large cargo bases have been set up in Guangzhou and Shenzhen," said Mr. Li.
He added that China Southern Airlines has been constantly strengthening its cooperation with domestic and International airlines to retain its core business and expand its global cargo network. In June 2002, China Southern Airlines inked an official agreement with China State Post Bureau to jointly operate China Postal Airlines with China Southern holding 49% of the joint venture at an investment of RMB 150M.
Currently China Southern Airline operates two 747-400F China-USA cargo flights with its newly introduced freighters and the results have been outstanding. From January to September 2002, the Shenzhen-Chicago, Shenzhen-Los Angeles cargo flights completed a combined total volume of 1,454,988 tons of mail and cargo - for a 24.21% increase from the same period in 2001.
"In spite of a slowdown in global economy over the past two or three years, China's economy continues to maintain a healthy growth momentum. With the acceleration of economic globalization and the rapid growth of logistics, China Southern Airlines plans to retain its advantageous position in the domestic air transportation market and strive to tap the international market," said Mr. Li Kun, Vice President of China Southern said in the inaugural reception.
Mr. Li added, "Statistics show that the growth of China's air cargo volume has been surpassing the world's average for several years. China Southern Airlines is confident that its new cargo strategy will make substantial contributions to a new round of growth in the Asian and global economy."
"We are pleased to announce this alliance between China Southern, one of China's largest airlines, and Atlas Air, Inc., the world's largest provider of Boeing 747 freighter capacity. We believe that working together, Atlas Air and China Southern will be able to provide an unrivalled quality of service to carriers seeking long-haul, heavy lift service between China and Europe," said Mr. Richard Shuyler, Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings.
Mr. Li added that, "China Southern Airlines attaches great importance to cooperating with other specialized air carriers, so it can jointly set up a global cargo transportation network and enhance its competitiveness in the global market. China Southern Airlines has successfully set up partnership with quite a few overseas counterparts. We will continue seeking future partnership to tap the enormous opportunities in air cargo.
The largest airline in The People's Republic of China for the past 23 years, China Southern Airlines connects more than 80 cities around the globe. Major business and vacation destinations served in China include: Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hong Kong, Kunming, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Wuhan and as well as international service, including: Amsterdam, Bangkok, Fukuoka, Hanoi, Ho Ch`i Minh City, Islamabad, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, Moscow, Osaka, Penang, Phnom Penh, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.