China Southern Airlines has applied to the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for approval to establish a cargo subsidiary.

To be based in Guangzhou, the new carrier, known as China Southern Airlines Cargo, will be wholly-owned by China Southern. Neither the CAAC nor China Southern gave any indication of when the new carrier will commence operations.

China Southern 777F

Source: FlightGlobal file photo

China Southern Airlines will transfer its fleet of Boeing 777 freighters to its new cargo subsidiary

CAAC documents state that the cargo carrier will be funded by China Southern, with a registered capital of CNY1 billion ($150 million).

It will operate Boeing 777 freighters — presumed to be transferred from China Southern’s existing freighter fleet — on domestic and international cargo flights. Cirium fleets data shows that China Southern operates 14 777Fs, alongside two 747-400Fs.

China Southern states that it will also hand over its existing cargo slots to the new subsidiary, which will operate these flights under China Southern’s operating code.

China Southern has picked the head of its Shantou division, Zhang Wei, to head the new carrier. It will also move about 30 flight crew to the cargo airline.