Chinese E-Commerce Giant to Set Up New Airline

  • New cargo airline will be based in China’s eastern province of Jiangsu.
  • Jiangsu Jingdong Cargo Airlines has obtained preliminary regulatory approvals to launch a new carrier.
  • The airline is planning to use Boeing 737-800 planes for its fleet.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) announced that Suqian Jindong Zhanrui Enterprise Management, controlled by the JD.com founder Richard Liu, has been granted approval to set up a new cargo airline based in the eastern province of Jiangsu.

Jiangsu Jingdong Cargo Airlines, with registered capital of 600 million yuan ($92.83 million), has obtained preliminary regulatory approvals to launch a new carrier, China’s aviation regulator said in a notice.

A company controlled by the founder of China’s e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. will contribute 75% of the founding capital while Airport Group in Nantong, a city in Jiangsu, will supply the rest, according to CAAC.

According to the CAAC note, new airline is planning to use Boeing 737-800 aircraft for its fleet.

The setup of a new cargo airline comes as JD.com’s online shopping rival Alibaba Group Holding LTd has been expanding its fleet. YTO Cargo Airlines, owned by Alibaba-backed YTO Express, is introducing freighters converted from 767 and 777 planes.

Boeing, which has been struggling in China with sales of passenger planes, dominates the global freighter market.

Air freight rates have skyrocketed, driven in part by a pandemic-induced expansion of online shopping.

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