Union expresses concerns over new Cargolux JV
21 / 09 / 2017
Cargolux union LCGB has expressed its concerns over the all-cargo carrier’s new Chinese joint venture and its impact on jobs in a meeting with the Luxembourg minister for sustainable development and infrastructure.
In the meeting, the union expressed its concerns that Cargolux could transfer some of its aircraft to Henan Cargo Airlines (HCA).
The LCGB feared that this could affect the number of pilots based in Luxembourg and also staff numbers at maintenance facilities in the country.
The China-based joint venture will be 25% owned by Cargolux, with the remaining share held by HNCA - the Henan Airport Group - and the Xinggang Investment Group Co, which represents the Zhengzhou Airport Economic Zone.
The union wants the size of the fleet in based Luxembourg to maintained, even in the event of some aircraft being transferred to the new company. It added that the airline’s Luxembourg business will need to grow in the future in order to guarantee its existence.
According to the union, the minister, François Bausch, said that at this stage it was too early to assess exactly what form the partnership would take.
He stressed that many of the union's concerns will need to be clarified through bilateral conversations with the Chinese investors and added that HNCA was currently undergoing structural changes.
The LCGB said that a clear response to its concerns should be found and communicated to Cargolux employees and that regular meeting should take place to avoid speculation.
Cargolux also moved to clear up the union's concerns. A spokesperson said: "the size of Cargolux (CV)'s fleet will depend on its own commercial requirements and network. It has been previously stated that the set-up of the JV airline is not to move jobs away from Luxembourg.
"It has also been indicated by management in meetings with our Board that should the JV airline receive aircraft from CV, it is CV’s intention to replace such capacity transferred.
"Rather than fear of loss of jobs, we have been and still are actively recruiting personnel, especially pilots and maintenance personnel, for the airline."
It is not the first time the union has expressed concerns about Cargolux's subsidiaries, it has similar fears over aircraft being transferred from Luxembourg to Cargolux Italia.
The new cargo airline will operate under a Chinese air operator certificate (AOC), with the first revenue flight being planned for the fourth quarter of 2018.
When the joint venture was initially announced in 2016, the plan was to start with three B747 freighters and grow to five within the first three years of operation.
It was also suggested that HCA would concentrate on the transpacific and intra-Asia, leaving Cargolux to focus on Atlantic and European routes, as well as its other operations.
Since the plans were first revealed, the launch date has been pushed back and Cargolux has reduced its stake from 35%.
At the meeting, the minister also expressed a favourable outlook on the airline’s 2017 financial performance and said the new partnership with Emirates SkyCargo was constructive.
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