Cargolux, based in Luxembourg, is Europe’s leading all-cargo airline operating a fleet of 30 Boeing 747-8 freighters and Boeing 747-400 freighters. (Visited 19 August 2021)
Cargolux Airlines International S.A. started operations in 1970 from its newly established home base at Luxembourg airport with a handful of Canadair CL-44 freighters. 50 years later, Cargolux is Europe’s biggest all-cargo airline with a fleet of modern Boeing 747-8 and 747-400 freighters. As an undisputed leader in air cargo, Cargolux offers an extensive product range, covering everything from everyday cargo to shipments that require attention to detail, special treatment and expert handling. Backed by 50 years of experience, the highly specialised Cargolux teams can cater to the most demanding requirements customers may have. Cargolux’s high-quality scheduled and charter air freight services across the globe use an all-747 freighter fleet and a solid network of trucking contractors to move valuable and time-sensitive commodities through its network, covering more than 90 destinations. Cargolux also offers third-party maintenance services at its modern twobay maintenance hangar in Luxembourg. The company is specialised in 747 line and hangar maintenance up to and including C-Checks. Cargolux has more than 85 offices in over 50 countries and operates an extensive global trucking network to more than 250 destinations. With 50 years of experience in the air cargo industry and an extensive product portfolio, Cargolux provides tailored transport solutions for all types of shipments. As a responsible cargo carrier, Cargolux has developed a solid CSR programme encompassing Environmental, Social, and Governance principles. The Cargolux Group employs over 2,200 staff members worldwide. Interview with Richard Forson - Cargolux President & CEO.
What projects are you currently working on? On a sustainability level, we are looking into the procurement of Sustainable Aviation Fuel including investment into projects for the production of SAF in the future. Regarding the fleet, we are assessing various options for the renewal of our 747-400 fleet. The company is also in the midst of a largescale information technology project to modernise our IT platforms/applications and to continuously enhance cybersecurity to protect our digital assets.
What accomplishments are you particularly proud of? Cargolux was one of the first companies in Luxembourg to implement a strict sanitary protocol to protect our employees and combat the spread of the Coronavirus. We are proud to have been in a position early on in the pandemic to provide our people, worldwide, with the necessary PPE equipment to prevent work-related infections. I am also very proud of the fact that we managed to operate at our full capacity to meet the critical demand for air logistics during the COVID period. Cargolux played a crucial role in flying essential supplies where they were most needed. The airline provided an air bridge between China, Europe,and the US to ensure the supply chain kept moving and vital goods, especially PPE, were transported.
The last time you had a doubt? I continuously question myself about what the future might hold. The global economy is highly volatile, and things can happen very fast. Globally, governmental resources are stretched very thinly at this stage. Many are heavily in debt and one can wonder what the impact would be in the event of an economic slow-down or even a recession.
What is it for you to have an entrepreneurial spirit? In my opinion, entrepreneurial spirit is coming up with an idea and having the courage to pursue the realisation of that idea. It requires strength not to get discouraged if the initial plan fails, but to persevere and seek other options to achieve success. Dealing with failure is essential in being a successful entrepreneur.
What has been the impact of the COVID crisis on your business and what do you think the Chamber of Commerce could do to support you? The COVID crisis has had a significant impact on our business. We have had to navigate many restrictions but have managed them in most instances. There are certain measures that have been implemented to combat the COVID virus, in Asian countries in particular, that have affected our ability to maintain the level of service in our operations that we strive to achieve. The Chamber of Commerce can play a significant role through lobbying at government and EU level on the importance of the airline logistics sector, especially during a period like this where the world was heavily dependent on airlift capacity to fight the pandemic and distribute vaccines. A properly coordinated response by EU member states to major events, that impact businesses in the EU, can only effectively be dealt with by all working together instead of member states each developing their own response.