Global insight

Charter flight over-bookings sparked Christmas mayhem at Cargolux

Cargolux flights cancelled, cargo grounded

GLOBAL all-cargo airline Cargolux is in the midst of a crisis after being forced to cancel a string of long-haul, widebodied freighter services.

The news comes as a major surprise to thousands of global airfreight customers who, it appears, may not have been informed of the ongoing problems.

Even though some flights have been held up for more than a day – as staff shortages continue to bite – no public announcements have been made by the airline including via its website, writes Thelma Etim.

A number of the airline’s B747 freighters have been grounded whilst pilots have taken their holidays over the Christmas period, learns.

Cargolux flights cancelled

It is understood that up to 10 flights have been cancelled and at least seven B747Fs that should be operating in the network were sitting on the tarmac at the all-cargo airline’s Luxembourg hub on 29 December.

The carrier’s Luxembourg cargo warehouse is currently rammed full to capacity and is unable to accept shipments at this time, sources have also revealed.

This ongoing acute pilots shortage has created an invidious position with Cargolux having to provide unhappy customers with adequate explanations as to why their shipments have been postponed.

A spokesperson in the carrier’s press and media department admits in a statement to that some services were delayed. “I can confirm that all our flights that have been sold have been flown. Some might have been delayed due to restricted availability of crews at this time of the year – between Xmas and New Year.”

She continues: “As regards your question about aircraft not flying today, all our aircraft are scheduled to fly, except for two that are currently undergoing maintenance. Our customers are kept informed about the status of their freight as per business procedures.

“The warehouse remains busy due to continuous high demand for air freight services.”

The current peak season is traditionally the period when cargo carriers generate most of their revenue.

Read more Cargolux stories here

Have your say