NO PERSON or business has ever made significant progress without taking a few calculated risks. Some argue the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

But this simple definition has no sympathy for scale, history or reputation and is leaving a string of influential air cargo industry professionals to wonder if the Cargolux China airline project is a miscalculated step too far, a commercial disaster waiting to happen, writes Thelma Etim.

According to a 2014 feasibility report by strategy consultants Roland Berger, the proposed dedicated Chinese cargo airline, in which its main shareholder, China’s state-owned Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment (HNCA) owns the largest stake at 49 per cent, will rely heavily on a seven-year programme of Chinese state subsidies.

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