Cargolux, Europe’s largest cargo airline, with a worldwide network of over 90 destinations, has combined efficiency with sustainability by adding a new generation of greener aircraft to its fleet. “We have invested in a new fleet of 747-8F aircraft, which are more environmentally friendly both in terms of carbon and noise emissions,” says Richard Forson, President & CEO of Cargolux. “They don’t come cheap, but this shows that environmental, as well as financial sustainability are high among our priorities.”
The fleet rollover program, which was completed with the delivery of the fourteenth 747-8F in late 2016, brings the Cargolux fleet to twenty-seven 747 freighter aircraft, and comes just as more cargo ramp space is being added at the Luxembourg Airport, the airline’s home base.
“Cargolux has seen significant growth in its fleet. Since 2011, we almost doubled the number of aircraft we operate,” Forson says. “This requires more space at our home base, so the expansion of infrastructure is supporting our growing operation.” The airport upgrades follow a record year for the cargo industry. In 2016, volumes rose by 17% year-on-year and, with 821,000 tons of cargo, Luxembourg was Europe’s sixth-largest airfreight hub.
Cargolux’s success can be attributed to its ability to offer a wide range of flexible solutions, including the shipping of live animals, heavy or outsized cargo, or perishables and pharmaceuticals.
In 2017, Cargolux entered into partnerships with other leading carriers, including Emirates SkyCargo and Nippon Cargo Airlines. The airline has also established strong ties with China through its shareholder Henan Civil Aviation and Investment. Together, they have established a complementary hub to Luxembourg in Zhengzhou, which has created increased flight activity and the establishment of a new Zhengzhou-based sister airline, Henan Cargo Airline.
“These partnerships allow us to offer more destinations,” says Forson. Meanwhile, a deal with SkyCell, a leading Swiss manufacturer of cooling containers for perishables and pharma shipments, will give Cargolux access to use low-weight containers to reduce costs and carbon emissions, further strengthening the company’s role as one of the world’s premier air cargo operators.