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Cargolux installs new chairman

By control on January 16, 2013

The board of directors at Cargolux, the lossmaking Luxembourg-based all-cargo airline, has elected Paul Helminger as chairman. Three more new directors were also appointed in a move that follows the Luxembourg government’s acquisition of a 35 percent stake in the airline from Qatar Airways on Dec. 31.

A politician who was mayor of Luxembourg City from 1999 to 2011, Helminger was appointed chairman of Luxair Group in May 2012. Luxair, itself part state-owned, is the largest single shareholder in Cargolux at 43.4 percent. In addition to the government’s newly re-acquired stake, expected to be on an interim basis only, two banks have a minority interest.

Cargolux, operates 11 B747-400 freighters and six B747-8Fs. It has struggled in recent months, especially on the slowing Asia-Europe trade lane, and lost $18 million in 2011, the last year for which figures have been published.

The Luxembourg government is reported to be in discussion with at least two prospective bidders for the former Qatar Airways share, China’s HNA Group and Russian operator Volga-Dnepr Airlines.

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