Cargolux Airlines International
S.A., trading as
Cargolux, is a cargo
airline based in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg.
It is one of the largest scheduled
all-cargo airlines in Europe with a global network. Charter flights
and third party maintenance are also operated. Its main base is
The airline was established in March 1970 by Luxair
, the Salen Shipping Group, Loftleidir Icelandic
private interests in Luxembourg. It started operations in May 1970 with one
Canadair CL-44 freighter with
services from Luxembourg to Hong Kong.
Over the next two years, the airline grew,
as did their public visibility.
By 1973, Cargolux had five Canadair
and made the leap into the jet age by acquiring a Douglas DC-8
jet. This enabled the company to
speed up their cargo deliveries. In 1974, Loftleidir Icelandic
joined their maintenance and engineering departments together, and
by 1975, Cargolux enjoyed the new facilities of new central offices
and two plane hangars.
In 1978, the airline began to take shape into the company it is
today. The Canadair CL-44's began to be retired and the airline
ordered its first Boeing 747s
same year they also began flying to other places in Asia, as well as to the United States.
In 1979, as the company concluded its first
decade, their first Boeing 747's were delivered.
In 1982, China Airlines
first airline company to sign a strategic alliance with Cargolux.
1983 saw the introduction of CHAMP
lanning) and the
start of some charter passenger flights for the Hajj
1984 saw the departure of the last Douglas
in the fleet and the addition of a third Boeing 747.
Lufthansa bought a 24.5% share of the airline in 1987 and
Luxair increased their share to 24.53%.
1988 saw the birth of Lion Air
a passenger charter airline
set up by both Cargolux and Luxair. The airline had two Boeing 747
jets but Cargolux's venture into the charter airline world prove
unsuccessful and soon Lion Air folded.
Despite that setback, Cargolux made it into the 1990's in proper
financial shape. They added two more Boeing 747's in 1990, as a way
of celebrating their 20th anniversary, and in 1993, three Boeing 747-400F
's arrived at Luxembourg. 1995 saw
Cargolux have a year round celebration because of its 25th
anniversary and Heiner Wilkens
named CEO and President.
In 1997, Luxair was able to increase their share to 34%, while in
September 1997 Lufthansa sold their 24.5% to Sair Logistics
and Swiss Cargo
made a cooperation agreement with
the Luxembourg company. 1998 saw Sair Logistics increase their
share to 33%.
By 1999, Cargolux's fleet had reached double figures, with ten
Boeing 747s. In 2000 a route was opened to Seoul, South Korea, and in 2001 Wilkens decided to step down as
President and CEO of the air company.
The airline is owned by Luxair (34.9%), SAirLines (33.7%),
Luxembourg Financial Corporations (28.9%) and other shareholders
(2.5%) (at January 2008).
Incidents and accidents
Cargolux Boeing 747-4R7F/SCD in
Shanghai - Pudong International China
- In January 2006, the nose gear of a plane in park position was
accidentally retracted. Nobody was injured. The incident occurred
at Shanghai Pudong International
December 2008, a Cargolux aircraft skidded off the taxiway while
taxiing to the cargo apron at O'hare Airport in Chicago due to extreme weather
conditions. The nose gear and part of the left main gear
were buried in the snow. No injuries nor damage was reported.
March 17th 2009, the nose gear of a Cargolux Boeing 747-400 left the runway at Maastricht
Aachen Airport in The Netherlands. This was caused by a failure of the
steering system and happened after the aircraft had decelerated to
low taxi speed.
- Cargolux incident at Shanghai Airport