, LUXEMBOURG, June 9 – Doha-based Qatar Airways has acquired a 35 percent stake in Europe\’s leading air freight firm, Luxembourg\’s Cargolux, and agreed to enhance mutual cooperation, Cargolux said Thursday.
Announcing the deal, Cargolux International Airlines S.A. said the two struck "a strategic equity partnership (including) … the acquisition of a 35 percent stake in Cargolux and a commercial cooperation."
The deal was signed on behalf of Cargolux shareholders by the Luxembourg Minister of Finance Luc Frieden, company CEO Frank Reimen, and for the Qatari firm by the prime minister and foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.
"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," said Marc Hoffmann, chairman of the Cargolux board.
Luxair has a 52.1 percent stake in Cargolux. In 2009, SAirlines, part of Swissair which went into bankruptcy, ceded its 33.7 percent stake in Cargolux to three stakeholders in the company and to Luxembourg, pending a longterm buyer.
After several years in the red, Cargolux, which has a fleet of 16 B747-400 freighters and covers 90 destinations, last year turned a profit of $59.8 million dollars on turnover of $1.75 billion.