Cargolux lost $153 million in 2009

CARGOLUX lost US$153 million in 2009 as the industry slump pulled its revenues for the year down 34 per cent from 2008’s to $1.3 billion. Traffic fell 11.3 per cent, yields by 26 per cent. To compensate, capacity was cut 9.3 per cent to ensure load factor only fell from 70.6 to 69 per cent.

However, demand recovered enough towards the end of the year to prompt the cargo carrier to lease three 747-200 freighters.

Nonetheless, the airline said: “As a result of the losses incurred and to ensure the survival of the company, a re-capitalisation of Cargolux became necessary. In November 2009, the company implemented a restructuring of its capital structure in a two-step transaction. First, shareholder SAirlines (part of the defunct Swissair Group) sold its 33.7 per cent stake to Luxair, BCEE, SNCI (all current share holders of Cargolux) and, as a new shareholder, the Luxembourg State.”

With regards the production delay of the 747-8 freighter, the carrier commented: “[The delay] has pushed the first delivery to Cargolux from late summer 2009 to late 2010. Cargolux saw this development with mixed emotions. On one hand, the delay helped us to preserve much-needed cash. On the other hand, we could have well used the added efficiency, lower fuel consumption, higher range and payload to reduce our operating costs.”

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