Jade Cargo this week came a step closer to taking to the air again after its owners agreed to work with UniTop Group, a Chinese transportation company, to restructure the troubled carrier.
Jade Cargo, a joint venture between Lufthansa Cargo and Shenzhen Airlines, in January grounded its fleet of six 747-400s because of weak demand. The end of service came amid the throes of a slump in Asian air freight traffic, with rates plummeting faster than carriers could remove capacity.
Lufthansa Cargo, which owns 25 percent of the carrier, said in December it was reviewing its investment in the venture and is considering a reduction of operations in China. Lufthansa CEO Karl Ulrich Garnadt said the German carrier has long known than Jade, established in 2006, was undercapitalized and is in “very constructive” negotiations with the Bank of China.
Shenzhen Airlines owns 51 percent of Jade Cargo, with German development finance institute DEG-Deutsche Investitions owning the remaining 24 percent.