Category Archives: Cargolux (Luxembourg)

Cargolux celebrates 45 years of flying with a “You name it, we fly it” logo jet on newly-delivered Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCM

Cargolux 747-800F LX-VCM (15-You name it)(Ldg) LUX (Cargolux)(LRW)

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) on September 28 took delivery of brand new Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCM (msn 61169). The new delivery was flown to Luxembourg (above) and is in service between Luxembourg and Los Angeles via Prestwick.

The new Jumbo freighter is painted in a whimsical “You name it, we fly it” special livery created by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt. The logo jet is helping Cargolux celebrate 45 years of flying. The logo jet displays some of the odd things the airline has flown in its history.

The airline issued this statement and photos yesterday:

Cargolux 2015 logo

Cargolux Airlines, Europe’s largest all-cargo airline, celebrates its 45th anniversary with a special aircraft livery, created by Belgian cartoonist Philippe Cruyt, that was applied to its 13th 747-8 freighter delivered. The aircraft, LX-VCM, named ‘City of Redange-sur-Attert’, was handed over at Boeing’s Seattle plant on September 28 and arrived in Luxembourg on September 29 with a full load of cargo.

Cargolux LX-VCM 1 (Cargolux)(LR)

As an undisputed leader in air cargo, Cargolux offers an extensive product range, covering everything from every-day cargo to shipments that require detailed attention, special treatment and expert handling.

Cargolux LX-VCM 2 (Cargolux)(LR)

Backed by 45 years of experience, the highly specialized Cargolux teams can cater to the most demanding requirements customers may have.

Cargolux LX-VCM 3 (Cargolux)(LR)

This ability is aptly portrayed in the anniversary livery on LX‑VCM that depicts in a humorous way the many facets of air freight shipments, routinely handled by Cargolux every day.

Cargolux LX-VCM 4 (Cargolux)(LR)

The decal on Cargolux’s new freighter is the biggest decal that Boeing ever applied to an aircraft, it consists of 460 individual parts.

Cargolux LX-VCM 5 (Cargolux)(LR)

Phillippe Cruyt was born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1962. He has already illustrated a range of successful educational books on air freight and environmental topics, published by Cargolux in the early 2000s, as well as advertising and safety campaigns, calendars and posters for the airline.

Cargolux LX-VCM 6 (Cargolux)(LR)

In addition, he has illustrated a range of books as well as published his cartoons at various exhibitions throughout Europe.

Cargolux LX-VCM 7 (Cargolux)(LR)

Currently, Mr. Cruyt divides his professional time and energy between cartoon illustrations for children’s and educational books or designing communication messages with a touch of humor. When he is not drawing, Mr. Cruyt plays clarinet and tenor sax in his jazz group, The Creole Shakers Trio.

Cargolux LX-VCM 8 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 9 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 10 (Cargolux)(LR)

Cargolux LX-VCM 11 (Cargolux)(LR)


Over the last 45 years, Cargolux has grown to become Europe’s largest all-cargo airline with 828,658 ton of cargo flown in 2014 and a fleet of 25 747 freighters.

On March 4, 1970, Luxair, Loftleiðir, Salén and some private interests founded Cargolux and started operations from the newly established home base at Luxembourg airport with a handful of Canadair CL-44 freighters. The young carrier’s first flight on 10 March 1970 was routed Luxembourg – Stockholm – New York and carried a cargo of strawberries and iceberg lettuce.

The airline was created to operate all-cargo ad hoc and sub-charter flights and the first years of operation proved that there was a need for the type of service that Cargolux was offering to its customers.

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati/ Douglas DC-8-63 (CF) LX-ACV (msn 45989) is seen at Paris (CDG).

The CL‑44s soon gave way to bigger DC-8 freighters (above) and, in later years, Cargolux introduced the wide-body Boeing 747 freighter into its fleet, amidst much skepticism in Luxembourg and within the industry. However, the success of the operation eventually proved critics wrong. In later years, Cargolux became the first operator and launch customer of the 747-400F and the 747-8F. With more than 85 offices in over 50 countries, Cargolux today flies to over 70 destinations worldwide and employs over 1,700 people.

Selected Milestones

1970: Cargolux Airlines International is founded by Luxair, Loftleiðir Icelandic, the Salén Shipping Group and private Luxembourg interests.

1974: The maintenance division of Loftleiðir Icelandic is integrated into Cargolux, whose staff increased from 80 to 180 over night.

1978: The final CL-44 is phased out. Cargolux now operates an all-jet fleet.

1979: Boeing delivers Cargolux’s first Boeing 747-200F, the second one arrives a year later.

1983: Cargolux’s CHAMP (Cargo Handling And Management Planning) computer system is introduced.

1984: The last DC-8 freighter is sold, while a third 747-200F is added to the fleet in 1986.

1988: Cargolux ranks among the 15 largest cargo carriers in the world, measured in freight tonne kilometers flown.

1990: Cargolux celebrates its 20th anniversary with an order for three new Boeing 747-400 freighters.

1993: With the delivery of the first two Boeing 747-400 freighters, Cargolux becomes the first airline in the world to operate this state-of-the-art aircraft.

1995: Cargolux celebrates its 25th anniversary. The fleet of modern 747-400 freighters is steadily expanded over the coming years; the 16th and last unit is handed over in 2008.

2005: Cargolux and Boeing announce the development of a new, advanced version of the 747 freighter, later to become the 747-8 series. Cargolux is a launch customer for this new 747 type with an initial order for 10 aircraft. The company later orders five more 747-8Fs.

2009: The Cargolux Maintenance Division moves into its new maintenance hangar that offers modern facilities and space for two 747/A380-sized aircraft. Cargolux enters into a strategic partnership in Italy to create Cargolux Italia for intercontinental all-cargo services from Milan’s Malpensa airport.

2011: Qatar Airways takes a 35% equity interest in Cargolux, but decided in November 2012 to sell its stake. The State of Luxembourg acquires these shares on an interim basis. Some six years after signing the initial order, Cargolux is taking delivery of its first two Boeing 747‑8 freighters on 19 and 21 September.

2014: Cargolux achieves a number of crucial goals, including the conclusion of a commercial cooperation agreement with HNCA, who acquire 35% of the Cargolux shares and the successful introduction of services to and from Cargolux’s new hub in China, Zhengzhou.

2015: Cargolux celebrates its 45th anniversary. The airline operates the largest fleet in its history and routinely records one of the highest daily aircraft utilization rates in the industry. Cargolux now operates seven weekly frequencies between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou and introduces its first dedicated transpacific service between Zhengzhou and Chicago.

The Cargolux Spirit

With the acceptance of 747-8F LX-VCM, Cargolux operates one of the youngest and most efficient freighter fleets in the industry.

“I’m proud to see this aircraft with a very special paint scheme join out fleet,” says Dirk Reich, Cargolux President & CEO. “The 747-8 freighter perfectly suits our worldwide network and its nose-loading and cargo-carrying abilities help us to maintain our leading position in the airfreight industry. Philippe Cruyt’s exceptional livery is a fitting addition to our 13th 747-8F and underlines not only the expertise and experience that Cargolux has gained in handling a wide variety of normal and special freight, but also celebrates the long and colorful history of our company. This aircraft is an ambassador for the passion and the spirit of Cargolux.”

All photos by Cargolux (except below).

Cargolux aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Bottom Copyright Photo: Joe G. Walker. LX-VCM arrives at Seattle/Tacoma to take a full load of cargo to Luxembourg.

Cargolux 747-800F LX-VCM (15-You name it)(Apr) SEA (JGW)(LRW)

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Cargolux takes delivery of its 30th direct delivery Boeing 747, adds a special decal in honor of Joe Sutter

Cargolux 747-8F Delivery Honors Joe Sutter

Boeing (Chicago, Seattle and Charleston) and Cargolux Airlines (Luxembourg) are celebrating the 30th direct delivery of a 747 Freighter to the Luxembourg-based cargo carrier. To mark the occasion, Cargolux’s latest 747-8 Freighter carries a special decal of the “Father of the Boeing 747,” Joe Sutter, the Boeing engineer who led the team that designed the airplane.

Cargolux 747-8F Delivery Honors Joe Sutter

Photos Above: Boeing. The pictured Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCL (msn 35823) with the special Joe Sutter emblem on the nose was officially handed over to the carrier on March 5.

Video Below: Interview with Joe Sutter.

This latest delivery was the 12th 747-8 Freighter to join Cargolux’s fleet, with the Luxembourg carrier becoming the world’s first operator of the airplane type in October 2011. Prior to the introduction of the 747-8 Freighter, Cargolux took delivery of the first of two 747-200 Freighters in 1979 and in 1993 also became the world’s first operator of the 747-400 Freighter, taking a total of 16 747-400 Freighters.

In January 2015, Cargolux began operations to Manaus Airport in Brazil with a 747-8 Freighter carrying a full load of machinery spare parts and telecommunications equipment. In the process, Manaus Airport became the 100th commercial airport that Cargolux serves with the 747-8 Freighter, underlining the airplane’s incredible versatility in the world cargo market.

Cargolux currently has two unfilled orders for 747-8 Freighters, with the all-Boeing carrier operating a fleet composed entirely of 747-400 Freighters and 747-8 Freighters.

Cargolux aircraft slide show: AG Airline Slide Show

Cargolux improves with a net profit of $8.4 million in 2013

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) at its annual general meeting, the shareholders of Cargolux Airlines International S.A. approved the audited financial statements for the financial year ended on December 31, 2013.

2013 Highlights

Cargolux earned a full year net profit of US$ 8.4 million compared to US$ 35.1 million net loss in 2012;

Total revenues rose 14.4% to US$ 1,988.5 million from US$ 1,738.9 million in 2012.
Key Performance Indicators:

Tons sold increased 16.7% to 753,848 from 645,759 in 2012;

Average load factor softened 0.9 percentage points to 67.7%;

FTK strengthened to 5.7 million compared to 4.8 million in 2012;

Daily aircraft utilization stood at 14:57 block hours versus 15:07 in 2012.

In spite of a moderate recovery in the last quarter, the airfreight industry continued to operate in a difficult environment for the most part of 2013. Capacity growth still outstripped demand, which resulted in an industry-wide decline in yields and load factors. Despite difficult trading conditions, Cargolux grew its activities and increased volumes in a bid to maximize contribution to fixed costs. This was achieved quite successfully, as the company recorded a tonnage growth of 16.7% over 2012 to 753,848 tons – exceeding the 2013 budget by 13.5%. Total revenues grew by 14.4% to $1,988.5 million (US) while tons-kilometers flown increased from 4.8 million in 2012 to 5.7 million in 2013.

Cargolux operated 95,022 block hours, 13,364 hours more than planned for 2013. The high amount of operational activity contributed towards achieving a net consolidated gain of $8.4 million (US), a noteworthy improvement over the originally budgeted loss for 2013 of $27.1 million (US).

Cargolux expanded its fleet with three new Boeing 747-8Fs and retained, on a power-by-the-hour basis, a Boeing 747-400F that was initially planned to exit the fleet during 2013. It also added a Boeing 747-400ERF on the same basis, which brought the fleet to 20 aircraft at the end of the year. In contrast, the budget for 2013 foresaw a fleet of 16 aircraft only.

With a bigger fleet and more operational activity than planned, Cargolux recorded an average daily aircraft utilization of 14:57 hours. The company’s market share reached 3.5% and it ranked at number 8 among the world’s dedicated freighter and combination carriers in terms of FTKs.

“We don’t expect market conditions to improve significantly in 2014,” said Cargolux President and CEO Dirk Reich. “Our priority is to grow and expand our global network with the continued support and valuable contribution of our hard working employees while focusing on efficiency and performance improvements. I am also confident in our ability to reap the first tangible rewards from the cooperation with our new shareholder HNCA”, Reich added.

Copyright Photo: Karl Cornil/ Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCG (msn 35812) taxies past the camera at Amsterdam.

Cargolux Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Cargolux orders an additional Boeing 747-8 Freighter

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) and Boeing (Chicago and Seattle) have announced an order for an additional 747-8 Freighter. The order, valued at $357.5 million at list prices, is the 14th 747-8 Freighter the cargo carrier has ordered from Boeing.

“The Cargolux Board of Directors approved the order of our 14th 747-8 Freighter almost 35 years to the day that the airline took delivery of its first 747 Freighter ever,” said Richard Forson, interim president and CEO of Cargolux. “This shows how pleased we, as an all-747 cargo operator, are with the performance and economics of this new generation aircraft and underlines the importance of the role of the 747 overall in the success of our company.”

Cargolux was the world’s first operator of the 747-8 Freighter, taking its first delivery of the airplane type in October 2011. Since then, the airline has taken a total of nine 747-8 Freighters, providing the carrier with increased cargo capacity coupled with excellent economic performance. With today’s announcement, Cargolux has a total of five unfilled orders for 747-8 Freighters.

As well as being one of the launch customers for the 747-8 Freighter, Cargolux also took delivery of the first ever 747-400 Freighter in November 1993. The all-Boeing carrier has a fleet comprised entirely of 747-400 Freighters and 747-8 Freighters.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/ Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCD (msn 35809) taxies at Munich.

Cargolux: AG Slide Show

Cargolux to launch cargo flights to Bamako, Mali

Cargolux Airlines International S.A. (Luxembourg) has announced the launch of a weekly service to Bamako, the capital of Mali, from December 5, 2013. The flights are operated with the airline’s Boeing 747 freighters which offer main deck capacity for the transport of airfreight supplies that support the local industries in the areas of natural resources, telecommunications, healthcare and pharmaceutical products, perishables and general appliances.

In 2010, Bamako Airport inaugurated a new cargo terminal with a yearly capacity of 10,000 tons and extended the runway to 3,180 meters, enabling the operation of large aircraft, such as Cargolux’s 747 freighters.

Flight CV 7124 is operated every Thursday on the routing Luxembourg – Bamako – Lagos – Libreville – Nairobi – Manston – Luxembourg. Departure in Luxembourg is scheduled for 16.30 GMT with arrival in Bamako at 21:40 GMT. With this service, Cargolux connects another African destination to its worldwide network and offers shippers fast and reliable airfreight solutions to a market with growing importance.

Cargolux’s African network now covers 13 destinations that show promising export potential with strong shipments for the oil and gas industry. Cargolux also offers direct services between the United States and Africa.

Previously the cargo carrier started weekly service to Buenos Aires via Campinas (Viracopas) near Sao Paulo on November 13.

Copyright Photo: TMK Photography/ Boeing 747-4R7F LX-VCV (msn 34235) approaches Johannesburg for landing.

Cargolux: AG Slide Show

Cargolux launches Atlanta-Munich cargo service via Luxembourg

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) on June 3 launched a new service between Atlanta and Munich via Luxembourg. The new weekly cargo route with be operated with Boeing 747-400F freighters.

The airline issued this statement:

Cargolux Airlines International S.A. on June 4 announced the introduction of a regular service between Atlanta and Munich via Luxembourg. Starting on June 3, 2013, at the eve of the Air Cargo Munich Exhibition and Conference, the latest addition to Cargolux’s expanding network of worldwide destinations will be served every Monday with a Boeing 747-400 Freighter.

The main import customer for the new Cargolux service is the German freight forwarder Senator International Spedition GmbH, a leading international freight forwarding company specialized in international freight, shipping, packaging and logistics. ‘Cargolux is a trusted and reliable partner who supports us in delivering first class global logistics services to our own customers. The Cargolux network offers us a wide array of options to accommodate with this weekly operation’, said Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum, CEO of Senator International based at the company’s headquarters in Hamburg.

While Cargolux has previously flown a number of charter flights from the Bavarian capital, this is the airline’s first regular airfreight service to and from Munich. Until now, the airline has relied on its trucking services to transport freight between its Luxembourg hub and Munich and earmarked for farther connections within its worldwide network.

Copyright Photo: Jens Polster/ Boeing 747-4R7F LX-SCV (msn 29733) arrives at Bangkok.

Cargolux: AG Slide Show

Cargolux loses $35.1 million in 2012

Cargolux Airlines International (Luxembourg) issued its financial statement for 2012:

At the April 24 annual General Meeting, the shareholders of Cargolux Airlines International S.A. approved the audited Financial Statements for the financial year ended December 31, 2012.

The steep decline in air cargo markets at the end of 2011 continued into 2012 not only for Cargolux, but for the industry as a whole. Depressed demand coupled with continued overcapacity resulted in significant pressure on yields and load factors for all freight operators.

Despite an improvement in late 2012, Cargolux recorded an overall loss of $35.1 million on revenues of $1,738.9 million. This loss, however, is markedly lower than the $57.0 million loss budgeted by the airline for the 2012. With the improvement in demand experienced in the last quarter of 2012 and the positive volume growth experienced by the airline for the first quarter of 2013 versus 2012, Cargolux remains cautiously optimistic for the current year. ‘Considering the state of the industry and the economic difficulties worldwide, Cargolux fared better than anticipated in 2012, that gives me hope for the current year,’ said Paul Helminger, Chairman of the Board of Directors.

In 2012, Cargolux carried 645,759 tons of cargo on its worldwide network. The fleet consisted of a mix of Boeing 747-400 and 747-8 freighters. With the new 747-8F gradually replacing the 747-400F, the airline operated eleven 747-400F and six 747-8F at the end of December 2012. Four Boeing 747-8 freighters joined the fleet during the year and additional deliveries are expected in 2013. In total, Cargolux will receive 13 units of the advanced freighter.

Cargolux has implemented a new business plan designed to ensure the long-term sustainability of the airline with a return to profitability in 2014.

Copyright Photo: Paul Denton. Boeing 747-8R7F LX-VCE (msn 35810) approaches Dubai International Airport (DXB) for landing.

Cargolux: AG Slide Show