LSG Sky Chefs is surging ahead with brisk expansion plans in China, the world’s fastest growing airline passenger market.Two separate joint-venture agreements have allowed the global service provider access to rapidly developing markets for both inbound and outbound passenger traffic in China. These latest partnerships make LSG Sky Chefs a major player in China’s airline catering business, helping to raise standards with its international expertise and technology in airline food preparation and presentation.
Further to the existing nine operations in China, LSG Sky Chefs has ventured into the southwest province of Yunnan, in collaboration with Eastern Air Catering Investment and Kunming Air Traffic Control Bureau. The 20-year agreement will result in the establishment of Yunnan Eastern Air Catering Co Ltd, a new joint-venture company.
The company will operate in Yunnan’s capital Kunming Waujiba International Airport and newly-opened subsidiary airports in the tourist destinations of Lijiang, a world heritage site, and Zhongdian, one of China’s major tourist attractions and gateway to Tibet.
“We are very happy to extend our longtime partnership with Eastern Air Catering Investment, with whom we also work in Shanghai and Xian,” said HK Cheung, Chief Operating Officer Asia/Pacific region. “Yunnan Province has a very promising future and it is currently the site of massive investments and infrastructure improvements. New highways and rail-links, for example, will link Kunming with Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and other destinations throughout Southeast Asia, bringing great opportunity for growth.”
Yunnan province is fast developing as a financial and commercial centre, following the free-trade agreement between China and ASEAN, the world’s largest, due to go into effect in 2010.
The current Kunming airport had 14.5 passengers in 2006 and is growing at a rate of about 20% per year. A new airport is under plan to cope with the increasing demand and the new joint venture company is also planning to build a new flight kitchen with initial design of about 12,000 square metres and a production capacity of 25,000 meals per day.
Separately, LSG Sky Chefs has signed a 30-year joint-venture agreement, named Gansu HNA LSG Sky Chefs Co Ltd, with HNA Air Catering Holding Co. This is the third joint venture between LSG Sky Chefs and HNA Air Catering Holding Co Ltd, following successful cooperation in Sanya and Urumqi.
This new joint-venture will establish a new catering facility at Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport, located in Gansu province, the second largest city in northwestern China, on the Mongolian border. The partnership will also see LSG Sky Chefs manage a small existing catering unit at Dunhuang Airport, also in China’s northwest.
Lanzhou Zhongchuan Airport currently serves approx. 2.6 million passengers (outbound) per year with operations to 35 national destinations. The new catering facility in Lanzhou, due to open late in 2008, will have an initial size of 2,000 square metres and a production capacity of up to 6,000 meals per day.