Cargolux Looks Back on a Satisfying 2016

The Luxembourg-based all cargo carrier, Cargolux, has just published their 2016 results whereby the airline records a profitable result for the past year. Also, news reached us last week that there was a serious incident involving  one of the airline’s Boeing 747-8 freighters on a scheduled flight from Houston, Texas to the carrier’s home base in Luxembourg.

Zhengzhou has become CV’s number one destination in China by tonnage, surpassing Shanghai  -  photo of CGO tower: hs
Zhengzhou has become CV’s number one destination in China by tonnage, surpassing Shanghai - photo of CGO tower: hs

A good year despite difficult market conditions
Low yields, fierce competition and overcapacity dominated the past year according to Cargolux. However, despite all of this, a strong fourth quarter ensured that CV reached black figures for 2016.
The carrier’s Freight Tonne Kilometers grew by 10% compared to a general market growth of 3.8% and the new profit totaled US$5.5 million.
Cargolux now holds the sixth position in IATA’s list of the top 25 cargo carriers.
The good result is also thanks to a very strong peak season traffic.
During the month of November, CV registered over 12,000 block hours and moved 96,000 tons of cargo.
The Cargolux Group of carriers managed to carry just over 964,000 tons on its global network during the past year, with an overall load factor of 66.76%.
Total block hours for CV’s fleet of 26 Boeing 747 freighters were 122,575 hours, an increase of 6.7% over 2015.
The Chinese airport of Zhengzhou has replaced Shanghai as Cargolux’s largest hub in mainland China with a total of 105,000 tons being transported through the airport.
The trend seems to continue into 2017 with the carrier continuing to concentrate on enhancing and selling its varied product pallet to their customers.

If there were to be a much-needed increase in yields for airlines in general, then surely CV’s figures for this year may well surpass those of 2016.

CV 747-8F main deck polluted by fuel spill caused by copter
The aircraft concerned was en-route from Houston, Texas to Prestwick Airport, Scotland where it was noticed after arrival that a large helicopter which had been loaded in Houston, was leaking oil or fuel into the Boeing’s main deck area.

Cargolux confirm in a statement to CFG that ", a fuel spill was identified from cargo loaded on the main deck after arrival of the freighter at Prestwick. A team of Cargolux technicians and a specialised company were sent on site to inspect the aircraft and clean affected areas. The aircraft was ferried to Luxembourg last week. It is not yet known when the aircraft will return to service. The investigation of the root cause is ongoing. All relevant authorities have been notified."

This statement was updated today (27 April) in a CV reaction, announcing the return of the Jumbo freighter into the fleet and the commencement of services as of next week.

Meanwhile, the UK Air Accident Investigation Branch as the leading authority conducts official investigations in their effort to  quickly determine why such a large helicopter was loaded on the freighter's main deck with apparently fuel in its tanks which when leaking, could cause so much damage.

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CV voted Best All Cargo Airline
The unfortunate incident shown above by no means reflects on Cargolux’s performance and overall safety and security.
On the contrary, the carrier has made a name for itself during the past decades as a reliable and well performing airline.
Cargolux was voted as the ‚‘Best All-Cargo Airline’ of the year during a ceremony held in London on 22. April. The citation noted that CV was honoured for its continued delivery of first-class services to its worldwide customers.
This is not the first time that they have received the award.

Cargolux also proudly announced recently that their B747-8Fs, after five and a half years in service, have logged a total of 1 million hours with the General Electric GEnx engines on wing.

John Mc Donagh

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