China’s three largest airline cargo carriers will merge to form Asia’s largest freight transport company, a senior official at the Civil Aviation Administration of China was quoted as saying in media reports.
The merging companies are Air China Cargo, China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Cargo, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Zhou Laizhen, CAAC deputy administrator, as saying on Wednesday.
Zhou was also quoted on Thursday on the website of People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the ruling Communist Party, as saying the companies were pushing ahead with the merger.
The reports did not provide a timeline or valuation for the deal.
“As far as I know, I am not aware of this development and I have never heard of this news,” Titus Diu, the chief operating officer of Air China Cargo, said.
The CAAC declined to comment, a spokeswoman said.
Calls seeking comment from China Cargo Airlines and China Southern Cargo went unanswered.
Air China Cargo is a joint venture freight project between Air China Limited (601111.SS) and Cathay Pacific Airways Limited (0293.HK). It has registered capital valued at 3.24 billion yuan and over 4,200 employees, its website shows.
China Cargo Airlines is a venture between China Eastern (600115.SS) and China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO). It has 950 million yuan in registered capital, according to its website.
China Southern Cargo is part of China Southern Airlines (600029.SS).
(Reporting by Fang Yan in BEIJING and Sue-Lin Wong in SHANGHAI; Editing by Michael Perry and Neil Fullick)