Cargolux's trade union, Onofhangege Gewerkschafts Bond Letzebuerg (Independent Trade Union of Luxembourg) or OGBL, is worried about shifting ground in air freight deals between its airline and the Henan provincial government in China, according to the Shipping Gazette.
The union was under the impression that the agreement made Cargolux a "privileged partner for air freight transported from Henan province as well as encompassing the development of a dual hub strategy focusing on Zhengzhou and Luxembourg", said OGBL spokesman Hubert Hollerich.
The still pending agreement between the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and a Henan provincial government's investment arm, the Henan Civil Aviation Development and Investment Company (HNCA), is the province's acquisition of a 35 per cent stake in Cargolux and the launch of a four-times weekly service between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou.
But now Chinese air cargo specialist Navitrans' is involved, launching a new freighter service of B747-400Fs from Zhengzhou to Liege in Belgium, 80 kilometres from Luxembourg, leaving the union to wonder if it has been cut out of the deal.
The twice weekly service will deploy B747-400Fs chartered by TNT Airways for the shipment of Zhengzhou-manufactured Apple iPhones and iPads for European markets at an estimated annual freight volume of 20,000 tonnes.
OGBL said it was informed that TNT Express acted independently and was approached by Apple, according to Luxembourg Transport Minister Francois Bausch, who insists Microsoft's new X-Box games console will be shipped by Cargolux exclusively from Zhengzhou to Luxembourg.