26 NOVEMBER 2012


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Article from BTNews 26 NOVEMBER 2012

Cargolux and Qatar part company

Eighteen months after acquiring a 35% stake in Luxembourg-based Cargolux, Qatar Airways has announced its intention to pull out of the deal.  Reports indicate that the break-up centred on conflicting opinions about the ultimate direction of the European freight carrier.

Cargolux announced in a press release that Qatar’s relinquishment of its stake would not affect management decisions but it clearly has problems.  Qatar has its hands full with the introduction of the 787 and the Airbus A350 not that far away.  Qatar Chairman and CEO, Akbar Al Baker, holds the same position at Doha International Airport, not without its opening date difficulties.

Cargolux has been fraught with challenges lately.  In 2011, for instance, sluggish freight traffic in the Asia-Pacific, high fuel prices, and delays in Boeing 747-8F deliveries crippled Cargolux’s performance, with the carrier recording a net loss of US$18.3m last year.  In 2010 Cargolux profit was US$59.8m.

Qatar’s cargo aspirations remain.  It currently operates three A300 and four 777, with four more Boeings due. www.cargolux.com www.qatarairways.com

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