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Despite plans to develop a Chinese carrier proceeding slower than expected, Cargolux believes it will still have its first aircraft in the air by the end of next year.

Initially scheduled to launch this year, joint-venture carrier Cargolux China is now eyeing a Q4 2018 takeoff.

Cargolux president and chief executive Richard Forson told The Loadstar that, as a western company going into China, there were several hurdles to clear.

“China is undergoing a major anti-corruption drive at the moment,” he said, “which has made partners over there cautious.”

 

However, he added that he felt the plans were still on track, with final dates dependent on negotiations and regulatory authorities.

The carrier believes China will be the biggest airfreight market by 2020, worth as much as $1trn, with both domestic and international opportunities.

Asked if he had concerns about competition from domestic carriers, Mr Forson said that while Chinese airlines could be “pretty aggressive”, he expected their focus would be on domestic express markets.

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