By Andy Sambidge
Luxembourg freight airline says 35% equity stake given clearance by 'all competent authorities'
Cargolux International Airlines announced on Sunday the closing of a deal with Qatar Airways after clearance by all competent authorities.
The Luxembourg-based airline said the agreement signed in June, in which the Doha-based carrier intended to acquire a 35 percent equity stake in Cargolux, had won final approval.
"The transaction increases the attractiveness of the Cargolux network through increased reach and scale. It also gives the company access to additional capacity and new destinations and strengthens the Luxembourg and Doha hubs," the European freighter said in a statement.
The airline has one of the world’s biggest freighter fleets, with 16 Boeing 747 cargo jets flying to over 90 destinations. It also has 13 next-generation Boeing 747-8 freighters on order, for which it is the launch customer.
Qatar Airways has five freighter aircraft, and also delivers freight through the bellies of its passenger fleet.
"We seek to fuel our growth plans by further developing our air freight business as a major part of our overall product offering and develop Qatar as a leading global cargo hub and one of the major players in the international freight market by 2015," said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker in June.
Cargolux posted $59.3m in profits last year, after reporting a $153.3m loss in 2009. That loss was largely due to fines and settlements paid by the firm in various jurisdictions due to price-fixing charges.