2017 proved to be an exceptional year for Cargolux Airlines. Net profit after taxes for 2017 totalled US$ 122.3m (compared to US$ 5.5m in 2016). The load factor of the airline increased to 70.1% for the year.
For the first time in its history the Cargolux Group exceeded 1m chargeable tonnes flown. According to the company, its worldwide market share grew to reach 4% and it ranks as the 6th largest airline in respect of international scheduled freight operations. Market demand remained high throughout 2017 resulting in the airline generating a record 131,212 block hours, a 7% increase compared to the previous year. Accordingly, aircraft utilization remained high with the daily average utilization in excess of 15:00 hours.
In 2017, Cargolux embarked on a journey of transformation with the launch of its 2025 Strategy which is focused on ensuring that the airline remains a sustainable, relevant and competitive provider of quality services to our customers. This includes a comprehensive review of its business processes, technological developments and innovation, to make it easier to transact with customers.
Cargolux continued to build on its strong commercial relationship with China, especially at its Zhengzhou hub. The company carried in excess of 250,000 tonnes of freight to and from China, including 147,000 tonnes to and from Zhengzhou and established itself as the largest cargo carrier in this hub. The airline operates between 19 and 25 weekly flights to mainland China depending on season. Several key MoUs and agreements were signed between both governments to extend commercial exchanges between the countries.
In 2017, Cargolux and Emirates SkyCargo also entered into an agreement, the first of its kind between a mainstream airline and an all-cargo carrier. A number of agreements were signed, including capacity swaps on each other’s aircraft to certain destinations, a new freighter service operated by Emirates SkyCargo’s between Luxembourg and Dubai that complements the thrice weekly connection that Cargolux already offers to Dubai World Central, thus increasing connectivity between both hubs. The implementation of this agreement allows Cargolux to access Emirates SkyCargo’s extensive network thus broadening the range of destinations available to customers.
In order to offer its customers a tailored service geared towards their specific needs, Cargolux is looking to further develop its global network. In 2017 two additional destinations were added in Africa; Douala in Cameroon and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. These weekly flights bring the number of destinations in Africa up to 14. Since July 2017, the airline also offers 4 weekly connections between Europe and Quito, Ecuador, in addition to flights to Curitiba, Viracopos and Mexico.
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