Air China receives green light for mixed-ownership reform

Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017

Air China Ltd has received the green light from Beijing to push ahead with mixed-ownership reform of its air freight logistics business, the firm recently announced, signaling a potential shake-up of China’s cargo carrier market.

In a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange the carrier said its state-owned parent, China National Aviation Holding Company (CNAHC), had received the approval from China’s top state planner, the National Development and Reform Commission.

China’s long-awaited mixed ownership reforms will allow private capital to invest in firms run directly by the central government and are part of an ambitious revamp of the country’s sclerotic and debt-ridden state sector.

“CNAHC will start to push forward the mixed-ownership reform in air freight logistics,” it said, adding the move would likely affect the listed company and some of its subsidiary firms.

Domestic media has previously reported China’s top airline freight carriers could merge to form a cargo transport giant.

An official at the Civil Aviation Administration of China told the official Xinhua news agency in 2015 that Air China Cargo, China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Cargo could be combined.