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China Eastern Airlines Lets Lease Run Out at Lambert

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Pilots of the China Cargo Airlines Boeing 777 that has landed at Lambert -St. Louis International Airport  for the first time, hold flowers presented to them in St. Louis on September 23, 2011. The flights will bring goods to Missouri and then return to China with Missouri made goods.    (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Pilots of the China Cargo Airlines Boeing 777 that has landed at Lambert -St. Louis International Airport for the first time, hold flowers presented to them in St. Louis on September 23, 2011. The flights will bring goods to Missouri and then return to China with Missouri made goods. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - Two years after hopes for a China Hub took flight, China Eastern Airlines officially cuts its last tie with Lambert Airport.

China Eastern Airlines has quietly let its lease for cargo space at Lambert Airport to expire.

“We haven’t got the greatest input from them this past year,” said Lambert director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge.

Flights dried up after the symbolic landing of a Boeing 777 in September, 2011, but China Eastern honored their contract and kept paying on the lease they signed for warehouse space.

Hamm-Niebruegge says China cargo flights have dropped off at a lot of major cities, including Atlanta and Dallas, due to reduced demand. About the only city that has seen an increase is Chicago.

So what’s next?

Hamm-Niebruegge told KMOX News that they talk to airlines carriers everyday and want to fill the available cargo space soon, but there is nothing new to report at this time.

“We’re working on a lot of fronts trying to become a USDA facility where we could do the live animal charters,” she added.

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