Government intervenes in Cargolux
It emerged late Thursday, December 6, that the Luxembourg government is to acquire Qatar Airways’ 35 percent shareholding in Cargolux on an interim basis while a viable long-term commercial solution is found for the troubled all-cargo airline. The government remains in discussion with China’s HNA Group and other prospective bidders.
HNA is known to have made a fresh approach to Cargolux, after losing out to Qatar Airlines in a previous bidding war 18 months ago. Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines is also believed to be interested in Qatar’s stake.
Hainan-headquartered HNA, owner of six airlines with additional interests in airport management, logistics, hotels and tourism, last year took a minority stake in Turkey’s MyCargo Airlines and is keen to expand further internationally.
Qatar blamed strategic differences for its withdrawal, and it is clear that any new investor will face significant challenges. Cargolux, which operates 11 B747-400 freighters and six B747-8Fs, lost $18 million in 2011.