Cargolux directors outline new business plan
Following the withdrawal of Qatari investment in November, the future of European all-cargo carrier Cargolux Airlines has provoked speculation within the industry, with the company relying on the Luxembourg government to take up the slack until a new shareholder takes on the remaining 35 percent stake in the business.
Today, the board of directors at Cargolux have released a new business plan for the period until 2017 which is designed to achieve ‘profitable growth, enhance shareholder value and ensure the long-term sustainability’ of the company, according to an online statement.
The board plans to request the shareholders of Cargolux (including state airline Luxair, banks BCCE and SNCI and the Luxembourgish government) to commit additional liquidity to the airline, with a first tranche of US$ 100 million requested for the first quarter of 2013 in the form of a convertible loan. The Board believes that this decision will enhance the government’s position in the ongoing discussions with potential new shareholders.
‘This is an important milestone for Cargolux in securing its sustainability. Going forward, all stakeholders will need to contribute their part to ensure this plan’s success. I am confident in the leadership team’s ability to execute it together with the airline’s highly skilled and dedicated employees,’ said Paul Helminger, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Commenting on the business plan, Richard Forson, Interim President and CEO, said: ‘We have a clear vision for the future which is founded on the strengths of the Cargolux business model. By continuing to put customers first while further improving our flexibility and resilience, this business plan will help us meet the challenges ahead and ensure that Cargolux remains a relevant player in the long run’.
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.