Following Dirk Reich’s resignation from Cargolux back in July, it seemed appropriate to assume it would only be a matter of time before he resurfaced, and today it looks like the he has been found. According to an update on the company website, Reich will be assuming the position of Chairman at “R+R International Aviation”, the consulting practice he founded in 2013, but which remained idle during his Cargolux days.
Cargolux had said that Reich stepped down “for personal reasons” noting that he wanted to spend more time with his family. According to R+R’s website, Reich’s family may indeed be joining him at the company. Individuals with the surname “Reich” occupy the positions of CEO, CFO and Germany Representative.
Whether or not he left amiably, or if there remains bad blood between Reich and Cargolux remain to be seen. However, judging from R+R’s business scope, it seems that Reich’s company could offer services of great appeal to Cargolux, or at least its Chinese equity stakeholder, Henan Civil Aviation and Investment Co. (HNCA) Why do we make this assumption? R+R’s plans to open offices in Luxembourg and Henan, China by 1 January 2017, are unlikely a coincidence. What’s more, Reich’s core consulting focus will be the “promotion of cross-border investments between Henan and Europe”, within the fields of aviation, logistics and e-commerce.
Dirk’s transition into the realm of Sino-European investment consulting would be a natural segue given his experience establishing Cargloux’s second hub in Zhengzhou. Reich was also instrumental in planting the seeds that (if they grow) will become Cargolux China, a Zhengzhou-based cargo carrier that is a JV between Cargolux and HNCA. Little has been offered in the form of a concrete update regarding Cargolux China, though there is much speculation that it will be further delayed until 2018.
Even as relentless critics argued that Zhengzhou in central China could did not make sense as a cargo hub, Reich remained bullish on the province’s future. When Cargo Facts spoke with Reich in Shanghai last June during the Air China Cargo conference, he noted the similarities between Zhengzhou and Luxembourg, and the ease of working with government and business partners in the region. Although “money flowing through Luxembourg’s banks rarely requires air transport” a reliable road-feeder network with over 100 daily truck trips had made it an undeniably excellent hub. His vision was to do the same in Zhengzhou and boost the city’s market share of outbound air exports ex-China.