Cathay Pacific to Buy Out Partner DHL's 40% Stake in Cargo Unit

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. agreed to buy out the stake owned by partner DHL International GmbH in a cargo venture as the premium Asian carrier revamps its operations as part of a three-year transformation program.

Under the non-binding preliminary agreement, Cathay will purchase the 40 percent held by the German company in AHK Air Hong Kong Ltd., making it a fully-owned subsidiary, the airline said in a filing to the city’s stock exchange Friday. DHL will buy eight Airbus SE A300-600 freighters from AHK and lease them back to Cathay’s unit. 

With mainland China as its backyard and an ongoing boom in e-commerce in the region, Asia’s biggest international airline has been expanding its air-freight business even as it streamlines the structure by getting rid of the role of cargo director. Cathay, together with its Cathay Dragon unit, carried 11 percent more freight in the first five months of 2017 than a year ago.

AHK will sell space on its freighters to DHL on an agreed network of overnight routes for initially 15 years starting January 2019, Cathay said.

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