Cargolux seeks freighters for China joint venture


Cargolux reveals a special 45th-anniversary livery designed by Belgian cartoonist Phillippe Cruyt.

As all-cargo carrier Cargolux celebrated its 45th anniversary this week, the Luxembourg-based airline said it is seeking additional 747 freighters for its “Cargolux China” joint venture.

While an earlier Reuters release said Cargolux was in negotiations with Boeing for five new 747-8Fs for the joint venture carrier, Air Cargo World’s sister publication, Cargo Facts, learned today that Cargolux CEO Dirk Reich is considering both new and used 747Fs, and that he is seeking three freighters, initially, not five. (For more details on the freighters, click here.)

The aircraft will be for a planned joint venture between Cargolux and China-based Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment (HNCA), which last year took a 35 percent stake in Cargolux. Plans for the joint venture are expected to be finalized soon, and Reich said the new carrier would be  ready “on a contractual basis” by the end of this year, with operations likely to begin in 2017.

In addition to its main hub in Luxembourg, Cargolux also operates out of a hub in Zhengzhou, where HNCA is based. Reich also told Reuters that, despite the recent falls in share prices caused partially by the economic stagnation in China, he remains optimistic about the world’s second-largest economy.

Any aircraft purchased for Cargolux China will be in addition to the 25 freighters currently in the Cargolux fleet. The carrier said that, in addition to considering new-build freighters, it is also looking at buying 747Fs that are used, but not older than 10 or 12 years.

Reich made the remarks on Sept. 28 at its 45th anniversary ceremony event, during which Cargolux took delivery of a 747-8F. The new freighter sported a specially designed livery created by Belgian cartoonist Phillippe Cruyt, depicting a cutaway illustration of what a child believe would be carried as cargo. The whimsical Cruyt cartoon shows storks delivering babies, a shipment of llamas, a “Wild West” stagecoach, a space capsule, race horses and race cars – topped by a giraffe, whose long neck extends rearward into the tail section.

Get more air cargo insights at the 2015 Cargo Facts Symposium, Oct. 26-28 in Miami. Click here for details.

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