Cargolux Receives 11th B747-8F While Collective Work Agreement Talks Continue

Cargolux Airlines took delivery of its 11th Boeing 747-8F aircraft on October 1st and aptly named the aircraft ‘City of Zhengzhou’ in honor of its much publicized partnership with their Chinese shareholder HNCA.

Three more are to come – one of Cargolux’s meanwhile eleven Boeing 747-8F at Findel Airport  /  source: CV
Three more are to come – one of Cargolux’s meanwhile eleven Boeing 747-8F at Findel Airport / source: CV

The Luxembourg based all freighter airline was the launch customer for the B747-8F and still has another three of these aircraft on order.
They also operates a further 11 Boeing 747-400Fs.
Dirk Reich, Cargolux President & CEO is quoted as saying, “our new ‘City of Zhengzhou’ will help us to strengthen our services between Luxembourg and the province of Henan.
It is reported that Cargolux plans to increase its 747-8F flights between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou to multiple daily connections in the near future.

‘Collective Work Agreement’ talks continue
In the meantime the carrier’s management and the two unions (OGB-L & LCGB) are still undecided with regards to agreement on an amended Collective Work Agreement (WCA).
The first round of talks took place in Luxembourg on 30. September.
CargoForwarder Global learned from reliable sources that Dirk Reich, CV’s President & CEO was not present at the opening discussion as he is apparently not part of the negotiating team. His place was taken by Henning zur Hausen, CV’s Senior VP HR, Legal & Compliance.
It seems that the problems surrounding the basing of aircraft with CV-Italia or the leasing in of aircraft through Smart Cargo were not part of these initial talks.

Our information is that the management stated that the ‘Work to Rule’ action by the pilots, which was initiated by the LCGB is seen as pure blackmail and should not be tolerated.
The second CV union, the OGB-L had distanced itself from the action, preferring to await the outcome of the present negotiations.

What did the first round of talks bring?
The immediate aim was apparently to give an outlook to the participants on the present financial and economic outlook of the airline.
This was not seen to be very good as the all cargo carrier is still deficit despite having achieved a higher load factor and operating more block hours.
It seems that revenues generated - in other words rates per kilo, as still far below what the carrier needs or what the clients will pay.
This information has apparently led both sides to back off for another two weeks, giving the opportunity and time to present an appropriate agenda which will hopefully lead to an agreement.

Our information is that the OGB-L had presented the CV management with a draft of a so called Job Security and Productivity Agreement earlier in September of this year.
The management’s reaction to the job guarantee suggestion is seen so far to be as follows:
The company would refrain from any structural redundancies for the tenure of the agreement only. Thereafter, there would be no guarantee.
The company insists that all ground staff waive their rights to three extra vacation days and that the pilots waive their rights to the so called “rest before off day” rule which in essence gives them an extra day off before they start their official “off-time.”

Questionable work to rule action
It is said that the recent action to work-rule-rule by the pilots, initiated by the LCGB was a mistake and that if it had not happened, the waiver of vacation and off days would not have been on the agenda.

So! - some time to go yet before both sides come to an agreement.
Hopes are high that the second round of talks which are planned for 13. October will bring positive results.
The carrier has been through a tough ride these past months and its time that they can get back to normal day-to-day operations and concentrate on generating positive financial results.

John Mc Donagh

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