Posted on September 12, 2011

Luxembourg based all-cargo carrier Cargolux International Airlines has wrapped up a strategic equity partnership deal with Qatar Airways after clearance by all competent authorities.

Announcing the successful completion of the transaction on Friday, the international cargo carrier said that under the deal Qatar Airways has acquired a 35 percent equity stake in Cargolux.

“Due to the complementary nature of the business and fleet composition of both companies, the strategic partnership with Qatar Airways enables Cargolux to enhance its competitive position as an independent leading air cargo operator,” said the Cargolux statement on Friday.

The cargo carrier further said the transaction would increase the attractiveness of the Cargolux network through increased reach and scale. It also gives the Company access to additional capacity and new destinations and strengthens the Luxembourg and Doha hubs. With the completion of the equity stake, the new shareholder structure of Cargolux would be made up of Luxair: 43.4 percent, Qatar Airways, 35 percent, Banque et Caisse d’Epargne de l’Etat (BCEE) 10.9 percent and Société Nationale de Crédit et d’Investissement (SNCI) 10.7 percent.

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Cargolux’s shareholders were looking for an investor to take over the 33.7 percent share formerly held by Switzerland’s bankrupt SAirLines, and that the 2009 purchase of the SAir shares by existing shareholders and the Luxembourg government was a temporary measure.

Qatar Airways has grown dramatically in recent years, and the acquisition of the Cargolux stake would enable the two carriers to work together to feed cargo into one another’s operations. Their combined capacity is already significant, but the two also have a lot of aircraft on firm order.

Assuming that Qatar follows through on its plan to have 15 of its A330 passenger aircraft converted to freighters, the combined fleet of Cargolux and Qatar will include 49 wide-bodied freighters and 160 widebodied passenger aircraft once all current orders are fulfilled.

No doubt, some of the oldest freighters (Qatar’s three A300-600Fs, for example) will be retired, and some of the freighter-converted A330s will likely be leased to other carriers.


source: Qatar Tribune

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