From this year, Air Belgium will fly two 747-8F aircraft of the Hongyuan Group, a logistics giant from China. Both of the previous Saudi Airlines aircraft (M-ABOV and M-ABOW) are nine years old and leased from Aircraft Finance Germany. They obtained a Belgian registration.
Hongyuan Group aims to make Brussels its main European gateway and hub for general cargo transportation and e-commerce. Last fall, the company opened an 8000 square meter warehouse in Zaventem.
According to Belgian aviation websites Aviation24 and Flightlevel, the Hongyuan Group also plans to acquire nearly 50% of Air Belgium from its existing Hong Kong shareholders. The rest of the company will then remain in the hands of Belgium.
Cargo transport is not new to Air Belgium. Since last year, the company has been flying from Liege and Brussels on Airbus A330-200 freighters for France’s CMA CGM, a large French freighter increasingly focused on air freight transportation.
Air Belgium is known to the general public mainly by passenger flights that operate from Charleroi and Brussels. The Belgians have two Airbus A330-900 and two Airbus A340-300 at their disposal for this purpose. Air Belgium flies to Curacao, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic, among others.
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