Chinese cargo airline receives AOC from Chinese Civil Aviation

Published: Monday, December 5, 2016

Guangzhou-based China Air Cargo has provisionally secured its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).

The CAAC announced its decision on 7 November saying that once all formalities are completed, the cargo carrier will be able to operate domestic Chinese (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) as well as international cargo flights.

The carrier has been given the green light to induct two B757-200Fs which it converted earlier this year, as well as MA-600 aircraft for its operations which will be based out of use Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

China Air Cargo – formerly Guangzhou-based AVIC Cargo Airlines – is a joint-venture between JoyAirHoldings (45 percent), Guangzhou Donlinks Group Co. (35 percent0 and the Beijing Fidelity Asset Management Co. (20 percent).

The fast growing Chinese postal and express market, which has now surpassed that of the US to become the largest in the world, has led to the rapid expansion of all-cargo airlines in the country over the past year with the B757 aircraft a popular choice amongst these carriers.

The two biggest players currently are China Postal Airlines and SF Airlines, which tops the Chinese market with annual tonnages of more than 800,000.

Earlier in the year China Postal ordered six B757-200 conversions and 10 B737-800 conversions, while in early November SF Airlines took delivery of its seventeenth B737 conversion. The carrier, which predominantly uplifts for Jack Ma’s Alibaba and its various e-commerce platforms, has ordered an unspecified number of B737-800s conversions and last year took delivery of its first widebody aircraft.

Meanwhile, YTO Express Airlines, which launched services in September last year, has also ordered 10 B737-800 conversions and has announced plans to launch international services.

Also a recent entrant into this rapidly evolving market is United Star Express, a joint venture between US-based lessor ATSG, online retailer Vishop and Chinese carrier Okay Airline. The carrier is expected to launch soon.