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Cargolux Airlines International
Cargolux Logo.svg
Founded 4 March 1970
Hubs Luxembourg - Findel Airport
Fleet size 16 (+10 orders)
Destinations 64
Headquarters Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Key people Ulrich Ogiermann (President and CEO)

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 Luxembourg - Findel Airport.[1]



The airline was established in March 1970 by Luxair, the Salen Shipping Group, Loftleidir Icelandic and various 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 CL-44s 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 and Cargolux 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-44s began to be retired and the airline ordered its first Boeing 747s. In that 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 747s were delivered.

Cargolux Boeing 747-400F

In 1982, China Airlines became the first airline company to sign a strategic alliance with Cargolux. 1983 saw the introduction of CHAMP (Cargo Handling And Management Planning) and the start of some charter passenger flights for the Hajj pilgrimage.

1984 saw the departure of the last Douglas DC-8 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 that was 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 1990s in proper financial shape. They added two more Boeing 747s in 1990, as a way of celebrating their 20th anniversary, and in 1993, three Boeing 747-400Fs arrived at Luxembourg. 1995 saw Cargolux have a year round celebration because of its 25th anniversary and Heiner Wilkens was 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 Airport.[2]
  • In 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.
  • On 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 Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders
Boeing 747-400F 16 0
Boeing 747-8F 0 10


  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International: p. 61. 2007-04-03.  
  2. ^ Cargolux incident at Shanghai Airport

External links



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