Qatar Takes Stake in Cargolux

QATAR AIRWAYS plans to acquire a 33% stake in Luxembourg freight carrier Cargolux Airlines International, according to its CEO Akbar Al Baker during a press conference in Dubai.  He said the move was in order to expand the airline, but did not mention the value of the planned transaction.  Luxair, the country’s national carrier, is Cargolux’s largest shareholder with 52.1%, while four Luxembourg financial institutions – BCEE (13.1%), SNCI (12.8%), BIP Investment Partners (11.5%) and Lux-Avantage (2.2%) – hold 39.6% and the Luxembourg state holds 8% directly.
According to its CEO, the carrier is also to convert 15 Airbus A330s into freighters.  The aircraft will be modified by Airbus in Germany by 2016.  “By 2015 we want to be one of the major players in cargo,” the CEO said.  The A330 delivery dates will depend on the availability of slots at Airbus’s German conversion plant.  (Eryl Crump)