China’s HNA Group is thought to be in discussions to acquire a stake in Cargolux, the lossmaking Luxembourg-based scheduled cargo carrier
The Chinese business media, quoting an unnamed HNA official, reported that the company had made a fresh approach to Cargolux, after losing out to Qatar Airlines in a previous bidding war 18 months ago. Neither company would confirm that talks were underway again. Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Airlines is also believed to be interested in Qatar’s 35 percent stake.
Hainan-headquartered HNA, owner of six airlines with additional interests in airport management, logistics, hotels and tourism, last year took a minority stake in Turkey’s MyCargo Airlines and is keen to expand further internationally.
Qatar blamed strategic differences for its withdrawal, and it is clear that any new investor will face significant challenges. Cargolux, which operates 11 B747-400 freighters and six B747-8Fs, lost $18 million in 2011.