Cargolux acquisition of second-hand aircraft a normal business practice to boost flexibility
Cargolux invests in second-hard aircraft to increase flexibility and agility in a volatile industry. Delano asks how?
At an Air Cargo China event that took place in Shanghai on 17 May 2018, Cargolux CEO, Richard Forson confirmed that the airline had acquired a second-hand Boeing 747-400 and is set to pick up two more next year, as reported on Air Cargo News here.
Since the Delano offices are situated directly in a Cargolux flight path and regularly experience the reverberations and rattling windows that accompany take-off and landing, we were curious. Second-hand aircraft eh? Is this normal, or should we be worried? It is unlikely to be money problems as airline recently reported record annual results for 2017. (See our article for further information.)
We need not have feared as Moa Sigurdardottir, Cargolux head of corporate communications, explained, “It is not unusual for an airline to purchase good quality, late model aircraft for its fleet. As Boeing is no longer taking orders for the B747-8F, we decided to pursue this route to ensure the longevity of our B747 fleet with its unique quality of the nose-door.”
Apparently, the addition of these aircraft will increase the carrier’s flexibility by, “Allowing a certain degree of additional capacity.” Flexibility is essential to Cargolux as it, “operates in an extremely volatile industry and our goal is to match capacity with demand.”
Although they will initially be on lease, the aircraft will become permanent members of Cargolux’s fleet. “If we do decide on additional aircraft, or to retain the leased aircraft for longer, it will depend on the state of the industry, as well as the commercial viability of existing and new markets,” Sigurdardottir added.
As such, flexibility and agility are essential. “We are proactive in our approach in order to be able to react immediately to changing market conditions. Some situations can be pre-empted but is such a volatile industry we have to remain flexible and agile.”