Cargolux, Emirates SkyCargo ink novel airfreight deal

MUNICH – Cargolux has entered into the first dedicated freighter and combo-carrier agreement of its kind, setting the stage for block and interline agreements that will allow the two carriers to use each other’s capacity for routes and capabilities beyond their own fleets.

The landmark deal, announced here during the Air Cargo Europe conference, means that Emirates SkyCargo can now move oversize cargo, which would require the 747-8F nose-loading capabilities on Cargolux freighters, thus complementing its 777F capacity. Cargolux, meanwhile, gains access to Emirates’ vast widebody bellyhold capacity on its passenger fleet and extensive global network.

The agreement creates a “network not matched by any other carrier in the world,” said Richard Forson, president and CEO of Luxembourg-based Cargolux Airlines International president and CEO. He added that both carriers would be able to offer services that they could not offer on their own.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) puts Emirates in a novel position, and saves it the costs of ACMI leasing, or teaming up with another combo-carrier that has 747Fs. The differences between the two carriers translate into benefits from cooperation that far outweigh competition, potentially setting a trend for similar partnerships between other carriers.

Starting in June, Emirates will begin operating freighter service to Luxembourg, while Cargolux will add additional scheduling to its current freighter flights into Emirates’ hub at Dubai World Central (DWC) in the United Arab Emirates.

Both carriers have GDP certification, guaranteeing common operating procedures good for temperature-sensitive cargo.

Today’s announcement has made for “a very satisfied minister of infrastructure,” said François Bausch, Luxembourg’s minister for development and infrastructure. Bausch noted that the MoU was two years in the making.

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