Taiwan’s second-largest airline, EVA Airways Corp., plans to form a joint venture air cargo company with China’s Shanghai Airlines Co. Ltd., according to a recent newspaper report. The United Daily News quoted Evergreen Group Chairman Chang Kuo-cheng as saying the move was part of his company’s push into China’s cargo market. The group also aims to offer marine cargo services to between 30 and 50 cities within three years, from 14 now. A spokesperson for Shanghai Airlines said a deal may be in the works, but declined to give details. “There probably is this matter you mentioned, but because there has not yet been any final agreement and it still requires approval by the civil aviation authority, the process is very complicated and I can’t disclose it,” said the spokesperson. A spokeswoman for EVA Airways said, “We have always had a cooperative relationship with Shanghai Air, but it’s only just discussions. Whether or not it’s been finalized, we only heard of it when we saw it in the papers today.” The Evergreen Group owns EVA Airways and Evergreen Marine Corp., the world’s third-largest container shipper. Chang said details of the joint venture, including the shareholding structure, would become clearer by the end of the year, the newspaper reported. Chang told Reuters in January that local governments in China had approached Evergreen to invest there. The group clinched a deal in January to take a 50% stake worth US$125 million in China’s second-busiest port, Ningbo. In 2001, EVA invested in a cargo terminal in Xiamen with other Taiwan airlines. (Reuters)