Thursday, June 9, 2011

Qatar Airways Takes Stake in Cargolux to Boost Air Freight Share

New Cooperation Agreement Signed
Shipping News Feature

LUXEMBOURG / QATAR - Qatar Airways is to acquire a 35% stake in Europe’s largest air freight-only carrier, Luxembourg based Cargolux, for an undisclosed amount. The deal marks Qatar Airways plans - dubbed “the fastest growing airline in the world” - to expand its air freight service substantially, particularly between their Doha base and Europe.

His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, who is Chairman of the Board of Directors at Qatar Airways, summed up the purchase and new cooperation agreement by saying that:

‘The State of Qatar strongly supports viable business development opportunities. Our investment in Europe’s leading cargo carrier Cargolux boosts our ambition to become one of the major players in air freight by 2015’.

‘Everybody wins from this partnership. We seek to fuel our growth plans by including air freight as a major part of our product offering. Our investment in Cargolux, a sound and healthy company and a leading all-cargo carrier, will deliver great value to Qatar Airways,’ said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Office Akbar Al Baker.

Marc Hoffmann, Chairman of the Cargolux Board of Directors was similar positive about the agreement saying that:

‘I am delighted that we have now found such an excellent strategic partner in Qatar Airways, a leading Middle East carrier and one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. I have no doubt that the cooperation with the new shareholder will support the business performance of Cargolux and strengthen its market position going forward’.

While details on the acquisition are to be released at a later date, Cargolux’s President and CEO, Frank Reimen, has stated that he expects the company to benefit from the ‘complementary nature of our businesses’ that will boost competitiveness and benefit Cargolux and Luxembourg through improved returns and future job creation.