Lufthansa's 24.5% stake in Cargolux, the Luxembourg-based freight airline, is to be taken over by SairLogistics, Swissair's sister cargo arm . Talks between the three companies have been going on for several months.

The German airline says that it decided to sell because of an "-increasingly divergent strategic approach by the two air-freight carriers which no longer permits a closer co-operation in sales and handling". Despite the share sale, Lufthansa says that co-operation with Cargolux will continue.

Cargolux is the fifth-biggest cargo airline in Europe, with an all-freight fleet of four Boeing 747-400Fs and four 747-200Fs.

The airline carried more than 233,000t of cargo on its worldwide network in 1996, netting a profit of $7.3 million on a turnover of $397 million.

Cargolux shareholders are Luxembourg national airline Luxair, with 34.53%, Lufthansa (24.5%), and a group of Luxembourg banks and financial holdings (44.69%), while 6.28% of the carrier is still privately owned.

Source: Flight International