March 24 - Cargolux Group reported a net profit after tax of USD49 million for 2015, up from USD3 million in 2014, while increasing freight tonne kilometres flown by 8.7 percent.

During last year Cargolux carried 889,652 tonnes of freight on its global network, 7.4 percent more than in 2014. The average load factor remained stable at 65.9 percent, in spite of an increase in the size of the fleet. The group's average market share in 2015 grew to 3.8 percent, stated the company.

One of Cargolux's main priorities in 2015 was to develop its Chinese hub in Zhengzhou. Flights increased to 13 per week by the end of the year, and the company introduced transpacific services between Zhengzhou and Chicago. By the end of 2015, Cargolux had flown over 65,000 tonnes of freight to and from the Chinese city.

HLPFI reported in January 2016 that Cargolux approved an investment of USD77 million for Cargolux China - a new joint venture Chinese cargo airline based in Zhengzhou. The new airline is expected to start operations in 2017, focusing on transpacific and intra-Asian routes.

During January 2016, after 18 months of negotiations, Cargolux management and trade unions - OGBL, CLSC and LCGB - settled a new collective work agreement (CWA), which the airline says will be valid for three years.

"It is a sign of our company's strength that, despite the energy we needed to achieve a CWA compromise, we managed to achieve a significant boost in our performance and a healthy profit, contrary to most of our European competitors," says Dirk Reich, Cargolux president and ceo. "While this excellent result benefitted from a reduction in fuel costs, it is in large part due to the hard work of our people, as well as our strategy and the corresponding measures that we began to introduce in 2014 in order to reduce our costs."