Inflight services provider LSG Sky Chefs has signed a contract on 17 June to establish a new joint venture (JV) in Wenzhou, China. The JV company, named ‘Wenzhou Longwan International Airport LSG Sky Chefs Catering Company Limited’, is a partnership with Wenzhou Airport Group, which holds 60% of the company’s shares. The contract has a duration of 25 years.
According to the companies, they are establishing this new JV in a market with a growing need for high-quality inflight catering. The international airport of Wenzhou (WNZ), a manufacturing and trading city in China’s Zhejiang province (south of Shanghai), handled more than five million passengers in 2013 and this figure is expected to rise to 13 million travellers by 2020. Currently 22 airlines offer domestic and international flights from Wenzhou, including Air China, Dragon Air, China Southern, Vietnam Airlines and Jeju Air.
The airport is currently expanding and will open a new terminal this year. LSG Sky Chefs’ joint venture partner is the only caterer at this location and the existing facility cannot handle the expected passenger growth. Therefore, the construction of a new catering unit is planned to start later this year. The facility will have a production capacity of up to 20,000 airline meals per day within 13,000m² of space. It is scheduled to start operations in 2016.
“We are happy to announce the launch of our 19th presence in mainland China,” said HK Cheung, LSG Sky Chefs’ COO for the Asia/Pacific region. “Together with our new joint venture partner, we will establish a new state-of-the-art facility to serve the growing needs at Wenzhou airport.”