Cargolux is in talks with Boeing to buy five more 747-8F freighters, a deal valued at USD$1.9 billion at list prices.
The aircraft would serve a planned joint venture between Cargolux and its 35 percent shareholder Henan Civil Aviation Development & Investment (HNCA) to be based in Zhengzhou, north central China.
"At this moment the plan is to purchase another five 747s for the project... on top of the existing fleet," chief executive Dirk Reich said after taking delivery of the 13th of 14 747-8 freighters that the Luxembourg-based carrier has ordered.
Plans for the new Cargolux China airline are expected to be completed before the end of the year with a view to starting flights in early 2017, Reich said.
Cargolux already operates a hub at Zhengzhou, home to the main production base of Apple's primary iPhone assembler, Foxconn.
Shipments from there have surged in recent weeks amid strong demand for the latest models, he said.
"Especially in the last weeks before the weekend of the (iPhone 6s) introduction, we have seen big shipments from China to all over the world particularly the US," Reich said.
"It looks like the sales are in the same range as they were last year, so it is an early sign of the high season for air freight starting."