Last week, the sister company of Cargolux, Luxcargo, acquired one of the two licences to handle cargo at Findel Airport.

Cargocenter - De Reportage vum Michèle Sinner

The CEO of Cargolux, Richard Forson reassured workers on their employment contracts. He states that "the staff's rights are protected by law. No-one is losing their job as Cargolux is taking over for Luxair." Effectively, the law on transfer of undertakings stipulates that in such cases the employees will be taken over with their contracts. Richard Forson clarifies:

"We must respect the collective agreement between the employees and Luxair. This means that [the workers] don't have to worry about anyone losing their job due to the transfer. No-one will be jobless on Christmas day."The new company is expected to take over CargoCenter operations four months after the licence is awarded. However, not all staff benefits are included in the collective agreement. The CEO of Cargolux mentions the right to plane tickets for staff for example. Given that Luxcargo is not an airline, Richard Forson explains: "We will have to look at what solution we can find. There may not be a perfect solution, but there will be one. But if I'm honest, I don't know if they will get the same benefits as before."

Cargolux is by far CargoCenter's best customer. About 75 to 80 percent of the cargo that is handled at Findel comes in via Cargolux. However, the new licence allows Luxcargo to serve other companies such as Qatar, China Airlines or Silkway.

Richard Forson does not feel threatened by competition from the second operator who won a licence, the Greek company Goldair Handling.

"All competition is welcome because it helps us become more efficient."

According to Richard Forson, he is not allowed to share how much Cargolux will pay Luxair to take over cargo handling duties. However, it is clear that Cargolux will have to put their money where their mouth is in the coming years with CargoCenter requiring investments of hundreds of millions.