Monday, January 02, 2012

China's Jade Cargo grounds planes on weak demand

China's Jade Cargo International Company Ltd. said Saturday that it had temporarily grounded its fleet of six Boeing 747 freighter planes because of weak demand.

The joint venture between a unit of carrier Air China Ltd. and Deutsche Lufthansa AG is the latest victim of the slowdown in air cargo traffic from China as customers pare orders because of the wider uncertainty over the global economy.

Jade said in a statement on its website that the move would provide an opportunity to "continue with the restructuring of the company's financial structure".

The company was set up in 2004 by Shenzhen Airlines -- now a unit of Air China -- Lufthansa and a German development bank.

Jade's future has been in question since Air China acquired Shenzhen. The Chinese flag carrier has a fast-growing cargo joint venture with Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd.

Cathay is among a number of carriers to forecast weaker cargo demand next year, scaling back expansion plans for 2012 and delaying the arrival of new aircraft.

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