MSC acquires majority stake in AlisCargo Airlines
03 / 08 / 2023
Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) has acquired a majority stake in Milan-based airfreight carrier AlisCargo Airlines.
The acquisition follows MSC’s confirmation last month that it was in talks with the cargo airline, as it continues to develop its air cargo operations.
This deal initiates a 100% takeover set to take place at the beginning of 2024, when AlisCargo will restart operations with the delivery of a Boeing 777 freighter.
The carrier is the only Italian airline dedicated entirely to the intercontinental transport of goods; it received its AOC in July 2021 and its first commercial flight took place between Milan Malpensa and Jinan on August 18, utilising a B777-200 in a preighter configuration.
Aliscargo took delivery of three further B777-200 preighter aircraft with the aim of expanding its operations – but preighter operations became less and less viable after the pandemic, and the airline’s operating licence was suspended earlier this year.
The majority selling party is represented by the Leali Group, led by Domenico Alcide Leali who, after success with Air Dolomiti, started AlisCargo Airlines in 2019.
Giacomo Manzon, general manager of AlisCargo Airlines, said: “I am proud to see a group like MSC entering as a major shareholder of AlisCargo Airlines and developing further the project that Leali Group has initiated. I am thankful for MSC’s trust in us, and we will work hard together to make it a success story.”
MSC Air Cargo senior vice president Jannie Davel said: “The acquisition of a majority share in AlisCargo Airlines is a step towards expanding MSC’s Air Cargo solution capabilities, and ultimately providing our customers with a quality and consistent offering. I am equally proud that we have found a partner that shares a common vision with us and has built a strong foundation for which we hope to further develop.”
MSC’s core shipping services are complemented by its activities in overland transportation, logistics and port terminal investments, as well as its evolving air cargo venture.
MSC Air Cargo currently operates two aircraft managed by Atlas Air Worldwide on routes between Europe, Central America and Asia, and will add a further two aircraft in the next six months.
Within the next 12 months, MSC Air Cargo plans to have a new operating licence and a fleet of five widebody aircraft.