Formed in 2005 and started operations in 2006. Subsidiary of Beijing Aerospace Satellite Applications Corporation. Associated with Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC). Domestic & international, scheduled & charter, cargo, jet airplane services.
17/F, POS Plaza No 1600 Century Avenue
Pudong New District, Shanghai, China 200122
China (People's Republic of China) was established in 1949, it covers an area of 9,560,980 sq km, its population is 1,265 million, its capital city is Beijing, and its official language is Chinese.
May 2006: 1 747-412F Side Cargo Door (SCD) (28263, 9V-SFE), Singapore Cargo (SQC) wet-leased (see photo).
June 2006: Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) started a six-times-weekly freighter service from Shanghai to Amsterdam. The cargo carrier, based at Shanghai Pudong, initially will operate two 747-400Fs. Services to India, South Korea and Singapore will be launched this month.
August 2006: Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) will launch twice-weekly Shanghai Pudong - Chennai freighter service, with a third weekly flight starting in September.
Great Wall Airlines (GWZ), the joint venture cargo start-up in which Singapore Airlines (SIA) holds a 25% stake, suspended operations after the USA government imposed sanctions against its majority stakeholder for allegedly conspiring to supply Iran with missile components. The USA Treasury Department froze all USA-related assets of Great Wall Industry Corporation (GWIC), the Shanghai-based firm that owns 51% of Great Wall Airlines (GWZ), saying it is one of four Chinese companies providing military support to Iran.
Great Wall Airlines (GWZ), which only had been in operation for two months, said it is "in discussion" with the USA government "with a view to bridging the impasse created by these sanctions." It operated two 747-400F freighters on lease from SIA Cargo (SQC) for flights from Shanghai to Amsterdam and destinations in Asia. It said cargo booked on its airplanes has been moved to other airlines.
The Treasury Department said (GWIC) has provided "goods to Iran's missile program" and urged "governments worldwide . . . to take appropriate measures to ensure that their companies and financial institutions are not facilitating Iran's proliferation activities." The sanctions mean Boeing (TBC) cannot have any dealings with Great Wall Airlines (GWZ). (GWIC) said it has "never rendered assistance to any country for any weapon of mass destruction program" and called the USA sanctions "simply unreasonable."
The Chinese government encouraged foreign airlines to invest in joint venture (JV) cargo carriers to tap into the country's rapidly expanding air cargo market. Lufthansa (DLH) controls a 25% stake in Jade Cargo International (JDC), an airfreight start-up viewed as a Great Wall (GWZ) rival that launched August 5 and is 51% owned by Shenzhen Airlines (SHZ).
February 2007: Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) successfully appealed the USA Treasury Department ruling which had removed (GWZ) from its list of designated companies.
Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) resumed its schedule of services to Amsterdam (6 times weekly), Incheon (6 times weekly), and Mumbai/Chennai (3 times weekly). In addition, (GWZ) is looking to expand its cargo network to other destinations in the near future.
(GWZ) leased two 747-412F Freighters from Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC).
June 2007: China's May freight rose +16.1% to 306,000 tonnes, boosted by +26.8% growth in international cargo to 84,000 tonnes. (CAAC) attributed the increase to Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) and China Eastern Airlines (CEA). The former, a joint venture between Great Wall Industry Corporation and Singapore Airlines (SIA), took delivery of a 747-400F last month.
August 2007: While USA majors lobby and issue competing press releases touting their proposals to serve China under the expanded aviation agreement signed by the two countries, four small Chinese carriers have applied to the (CAAC) (CAC) for the right to operate transpacific services in a market traditionally dominated by the country's big three and their USA counterparts. Despite the fact that Chinese airlines have faced significant competitive disadvantages on routes to the USA, four carriers - - Shanghai Airlines (SHA) Cargo, Hainan Airlines (HNA), Jade Cargo International (JDC) and Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) - - plan to operate transpacific services, and each has received approval from the (CAAC) (CAC), according to a statement from the regulator.
Shanghai Airlines (SHA) is scheduled to fly from Pudong (PVG) to Los Angeles via Anchorage (ANC) beginning in September, and to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) via (ANC) from next April. Jade (JDC) intends to operate a Shenzhen - (PVG) - Portland, Oregon - (DFW) - Portland - (PVG) routing, and a Shenzhen- (ANC) - Chicago O'Hare (ORD) flight beginning this month.
In March, Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) expects to fly freighters to Los Angeles (LAX) and (ORD) via (PVG) - Seoul - (ANC) and beginning June 8, Hainan (HNA) will operate passenger flights between Beijing and Seattle. Hainan (HNA) never before has applied to serve the USA. It also has applied to serve Mexico City from Beijing (PEK) from March 30, and last month, it started flights to St Petersburg. The local analyst community has suggested that the carrier is expanding internationally to pave the way for the launch of Grand China Air.
The industry in China is hoping that the seven new cargo routes to the USA will help domestic airlines improve on the 30% market share they currently hold in the international freight market. The difficulties in competing for passenger traffic were highlighted by the lack of interest from Air China (BEJ), China Southern Airlines (GUN), and China Eastern Airlines (CEA) in increasing their transpacific operations. (BEJ) Public Relations Director, Wang Yongsheng confirmed that "in the short term, we won't apply for any new routes to the USA," as (BEJ) already serves (LAX), San Francisco and New York (JFK).
March 2008: Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) announced that it will add Tianjin to its freighter network with effect from 30th March 2008. The new cargo flights will be operated by its 747-400F freighter fleet with a frequency of 5 flights weekly; 3 flights weekly routing Shanghai Pudong (PVG) - Tianjin (TSN) - Amsterdam (AMS), and 2 flights weekly routing (PVG) - (TSN) - (AMS) - Manchester, UK (MAN).
(GWZ) is the first carrier to offer direct schedule all cargo flights to Europe from Tianjin.
The President of Tianjin Binhai International Airport, Shao Dengxiang expressed his warm welcome to Great Wall Airlines (GWZ), “We are pleased to welcome (GWZ) to Tianjin”, Shao Dengxiang said, “The direct international cargo service provided by (GWZ) will help to enhance Tianjin‘s position as one of the premier international air cargo hubs of Northern China. With the rapid growth of Tianjin’s economy, the demand for air cargo transportation in this area is booming. Our plans to improve airport facilities are proceeding well. By 2010, the annual cargo turnover at Tianjin Airport will reach 500,000 tons. We are confident that this cooperation between (GWZ) and Tianjin Airport will make significant contributions to the economic development of Tianjin.”
The President of (GWZ), Tan Kai Ping said, “Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) has listened to the needs of our customers in making this decision to serve Tianjin. The support we received from the General Administration of Civil Aviation of China (CAAC) (CAC), the Tianjin Municipal Government, and our partners at Tianjin Binhai Airport convinced us that this is the correct decision. Our freighter services from Tianjin will enable us to support the supply chain needs of our customers for northern China. It is also our way of affirming our confidence in the future of Tianjin.” “We have an exciting year ahead. In a few months, we will be announcing the launch of services to USA.”
(GWZ) is an all cargo airline based in Shanghai Pudong Airport. (GWZ) currently operates a fleet of 3 747-400F freighters, with a network covering the major cargo hubs of Amsterdam, Manchester, and Dubai.
May 2008: Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) will be represented by Wallace Air Cargo Group for 747-400F services in North America, under a General Services Agent (GSA) agreement. Routes include Chicago O'Hare and Seattle to Seoul and Shanghai.
October 2008: Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) has appointed Kuah Boon Kiam as its new President. A Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC) executive, he has taken over from Tan Kaiping.
November 2008: Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) is a joint cargo venture between Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Beijing-based China Great Wall Industry, which launched cargo jet airplane services with a 747-400F, Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC) wet-leased. (GWZ) intends to fly to points in the USA, Europe, and within Asia.
Parent organization/shareholders: Beijing Aerospace Satellite Applications (51%); Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC) (25%); Dahlia Investments (Temasek Holdings) (24%).
(IATA) Code: IJ. (ICAO) Code: GWL (Callsign - GREAT WALL).
Main Base: Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG).
Hub: Beijing Capital International airport (PEK).
March 2010: China Eastern Airlines (CEA) has taken a 51% stake in Great Wall Airlines (GWZ). The stake, formerly held by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC), reportedly was transferred at the behest of the state-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission, which is the controlling shareholder of both (CEA) and (CASTC). (CEA) said it will integrate Great Wall (GWZ) with its China Cargo Airlines (CKK) subsidiary, as well as with Shanghai Airlines Cargo. (GWZ) was established in 2005 with CNY1.2 billion/$175.5 million from (CASTC) subsidiary Beijing Aerospace Satellite Applications Corporation, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Temasek Holdings subsidiary Dahlia Investments. It operates three 747-400Fs out of Shanghai Pudong (PVG).
September 2010: China Eastern Airlines (CEA) said its new subsidiary cargo carrier, comprised of the assets of China Cargo Airlines (CKK), Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) and Shanghai Airlines Cargo, will commence operations on January 1, 2011 from its base in Shanghai.
(CEA) General Manager, Ma Xulun noted that (CEA) will be the controlling stakeholder in the new entity. (CEA) acquired Shanghai Airlines (SHA) last year and signaled it would combine the two carriers' cargo subsidiaries. Earlier this year it took a 51% stake in Great Wall (GWZ), which operates three 747-400F freighters, based at Shanghai Pudong.
Ma said other shareholders in China Cargo (CKK), Great Wall (GWZ) and Shanghai Airlines Cargo (SHA) will also hold minority stakes in the new cargo carrier, though he didn't reveal the share proportion breakdown.
Great Wall (GWZ)'s stakeholders include Singapore Airlines (SIA), while China Ocean Shipping Group and Taipei-based Eva Airways (EVA) hold stakes in China Cargo (CKK) and Shanghai Airlines Cargo (SHA), respectively.
Shanghai is China's largest domestic air cargo market, but it is dominated by FedEx (FED), (UPS) and (DHL), rather than domestic operators. In addition to the new (CEA) carrier, Air China (BEJ) is expected to launch a joint venture (JV) cargo airline based in Shanghai in conjunction with Cathay Pacific Airways (CAT); the (JV) must still gain regulatory approval.
Separately, (CEA) signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with Shanghai Airport Group, which controls both Hongqiao and Pudong. The parties said they intend to build Shanghai as an international aviation hub. Under terms of the agreement, (CEA) will allocate more capacity to Pudong to open more international routes and boost flight frequencies on existing international and domestic trunk routes.
(CEA) Chairman, Liu Shaoyong has said that (CEA) will embark on an ambitious international expansion plan starting next year. It hopes to change the ratio of international to domestic routes in its system from 3:7 currently to 4:6 by 2015.
December 2010: China Eastern Airlines (CEA) revealed its plan to consolidate its cargo subsidiaries as its merger process with Shanghai Airlines (SHA) accelerates. (CEA)’s three cargo subsidiaries: — China Cargo Airlines (CKK), Shanghai Airlines Cargo (SHA) and Great Wall Airlines (GWZ) — will be consolidated into one cargo venture. (CEA), with a 51% share, will be the controlling stakeholder. The other stakeholders include China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company, Eva Air (EVA) and Singapore Airlines Cargo (SQC).
(EVA) noted it would invest CNY328 million/$49.1 million to purchase a 16% stake in the new cargo venture. An industry insider said that China Ocean Shipping (Group) Company may hold a 17% stake and (SIA) Cargo (SQC) would hold the remaining 16%.