Eighteen months after acquiring a 35-percent stake in Luxembourg-based Cargolux, Qatar Airways has announced its intention to pull out of the deal. Reports indicate that the break up centered on conflicting opinions about the ultimate direction of the European freight carrier.
In related news, Albert Wildgen has announced that he will step down as chairman of Cargolux’s board of directors on November 30 after a 14-month term. This action follows the July resignation of former Cargolux President and CEO Frank Reimen, who left the company to become Luxembourg’s high commissioner for national protection. Richard Forson took over in August on an interim basis.
Cargolux announced in a press release that Qatar’s relinquishment of 35-percent stake won’t affect management decisions. “The Cargolux shareholders, Luxair, BCEE and SNCI, have confirmed their full confidence and support of Richard Forson, the interim president and chief executive officer, and his management team as they take the airline forward through this difficult phase of restructuring in order to position Cargolux for future growth and prosperity benefiting not only the air logistics industry, but the country as a whole,” according to a Cargolux statement.
Even so, Caroglux has been fraught with challenges lately. In 2011, for instance, sluggish freight traffic in the Asia-Pacific, staggering fuel prices, and delays in Boeing 747-8F deliveries crippled Cargolux’s performance, with the carrier recording a net loss of $18.3 million. This figure differs greatly from Cargolux’s 2010 statistics, which showed the carrier profiting $59.8 million.