Luxembourg all-freight operator Cargolux and Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), paving the way for a strategic cargo partnership.

The partners said the agreement, which was signed at the Air Cargo Europe event in Munich, is the first of its kind in the air cargo industry between a mainline airline and a specialized freighter operator.

Under the cooperation, Emirates SkyCargo will use Cargolux’s nose-loading Boeing 747 freighters for heavy and outsized cargo, complementing its own fleet of 13 777Fs and two 747-400ERFs

The two carriers will also “further develop” block space and interline agreements on each other’s networks.

“Cargolux will have access to Emirates SkyCargo’s high frequency distribution network through the bellyhold of passenger flights to over 150 global destinations in 83 countries, while Emirates will have access to main deck 747 capacity on Cargolux’s network,” the partners said.

Emirates SkyCargo will launch freighter operations to Luxembourg from June, while Cargolux will step up its Dubai World Central (DWC) frequencies from 3X-weekly.

Both airlines’ cargo will be handled at the same facility in Luxembourg and Cargolux will be handled by Emirates SkyCargo at DWC.

“Emirates SkyCargo is an important player in the industry, as Cargolux is, and our supplementary capabilities allow us to develop service offerings that both of us could not provide on our own,” Cargolux president and CEO Richard Forson said.

Cargolux operates 14 747-8Fs and 12 747-400Fs, covering 90 destinations.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com