On Thursday 20 June 2024, the second Air Silk Road Forum for International Cooperation was held at LuxExpo in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, co-hosted by People's Government of Henan Province and Luxembourg's Ministry of Mobility and Public Works, and organised by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU.


In 2017, Luxembourg and China leaders reached consensus on establishing the Zhengzhou-Luxembourg "Air Silk Road", significant progress has been made with joint efforts, including increased flight frequency, enhanced hub connectivity, strengthened economic and trade partnerships, and flourishing cultural exchanges. Following jointly signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2019, the Air Silk Road has become a prominent platform for promoting international cooperation, fostering regional development and carrying forward the Silk Road spirit.

In April 2014, Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Co. (HNCA) had invested in Cargolux, purchasing 35% of their shares, and subsequently also invested heavily in a new cargo hub in Zhengzhou (in Henan province).

And since December 2023, China Southern Airlines now fly a weekly direct service between Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport and Luxembourg.


The forum was attended by around 300 invited guests and commenced with a short promotional video on the Air Bridge, covering both economic and cultural ties, with over one million tonnes of cargo being carried by Cargolux on the Luxembourg-China route. 

The forum delved into key areas including hub development, air logistics, economic and trade cooperation, and cultural tourism.

Xavier Bettel, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, referenced his visit to Henan province during his time as Prime Minister and HNCA's investment into Cargolux. He talked about a "good marriage", with the recipe including respect and trust, and the ability to speak with one another. He referenced the 50 flights/week between Luxembourg and China's largest cargo hub in Henan province. He stressed the importance of taking the time to talk, to discuss, both the successes to date and the opportunities and challenges ahead. 

Ding Xueixiang, Vice Premier of the People's Republic of China, on a two-day visit to the Grand Duchy, referenced the forum as a practical step for future collaboration. He described Luxembourg as China's cooperation partner and mentioned the remarkable achievements of the Air Silk Road. He talked about the dual hub capacities which now cover nineteen cities throughout China as well as countries throughout Europe. He also mentioned the tightening of the bond of friendship between the two countries. He also addressed the direct passenger flights between the two countries that commenced at the end of last year and spoke about working together on expanding the transport hubs with multimodal transport solutions. In addition to strengthening economic ties, he also mentioned culture, sports and tourism, as well as China's reform and becoming more open.

Yuriko Backes, Luxembourg's Minister for Mobility and Public Works, said she was honoured to celebrate the second edition of the Air Silk Road forum, and the tenth anniversary of the Air Silk Road, describing it as a resounding success with a significant positive impact. During the pandemic, it played a pivotal role in transporting medical equipment which helped save lives. She referenced also the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East as well as the climate crisis, all of which cannot be resolved without the involvement of China. She also mentioned the decarbonisation of the transport industry and innovative solutions that can hopefully be solved by working together. 

Wang Kai, Governor of Henan Province, also addressed the forum and charted the ten-year history of the Air Silk Road. He stated that the Zhengzhou cargo hub offers mutual trade cooperation, and China Southern Airlines' new passenger route offers a direct flight for both business and leisure travel. He concluded by talking about a shared prosperity and thanked partners from all sectors involved.  

The event also had a number of exhibition panels on the history and achievements of the Air Silk Road on display, including a milestone timeline, as well as a number of cultural stands covering music, calligraphy, teas, etc.