Great Wall to operate from Tianjin

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Chinese cargo carrier Great Wall Airlines is launching services from Tianjin to Europe, marking the first time the dedicated cargo carrier will be operating long-haul flights from Beijing’s port city.

Great Wall Airlines president Tan Kaiping says that on 30 March the airline will commence a five-times-weekly cargo service from its Shanghai Pudong base to Tianjin and the service will go on to Amsterdam.

Two of these flights will also go onto Manchester after Amsterdam, he adds.

Great Wall currently operates a fleet of three Boeing 747-400Fs and Tan says it is now “in the process of negotiating a contract” for the lease of a fourth. This aircraft will arrive later this year in time for the launch of services to the USA, he says.

Tan declines to provide details on the planned US services but says the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has already granted it traffic rights. Next month Great Wall will announce its US schedule, he adds.

The CAAC announced last August that Great Wall had applied for rights to operate Shanghai-Anchorage-Los Angeles return and Shanghai-Anchorage-Chicago return services.

Tianjin is the main port city near Beijing and is being positioned as a cargo hub. It is also where Korean Air’s new Chinese airline cargo joint venture, Grand Star, is based. Grand Star has applied to operate from Tianjin to destinations such as Brussels and Frankfurt in Europe.

Great Wall is a joint venture between Singapore Airlines Cargo, Singapore investment company Dahlia Investments and Beijing Aerospace Satellite Applications.