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Cargolux (or Cargolux Airlines International) is one of the world's major cargo airlines. It was formed in 1970 by passenger airline Luxair, the Salen Shipping Group, Loftleidir Icelandic and various private interests. They started with one CL-44 freighter from Luxembourg to Hong Kong.

The next two years, the airline grew, and so did their public visibility. In 1973, Cargolux had five CL-44's and made the leap into the jet age by acquiring one of the legendary McDonnell Douglas DC-8 jets. This enabled the company to speed up their cargo deliveries. In 1974, Icelandic convened with Cargolux to join their maintenance and engineering departments together, and by 1975, Cargolux enjoyed the new facilities of new central offices and two plane hangars.

In 1978 the airline began to take shape into the company it is today. The CL-44's began to be retired and the airline ordered its first Boeing 747s. In that same year they also began flying to other places in Asia as well as to the United States.

In 1979, as the company concluded its first decade, their first 747's were delivered from Boeing's Seattle plant.

In 1982, China Airlines became the first airline company to sign a strategic alliance with Cargolux. 1983 saw the introduction of CHAMPS (Cargo Handling And Management Planning) and the start of some charter passenger flights for Hajj pilgrimage.

1984 saw the departure of the last DC-8 in the fleet and the addition of a third 747. Lufthansa bought a 24 percent share of the airline in 1986 and Luxair increased their share to 24.53 percent.

1988 saw the birth of Lion Air, a passenger charter airline that was set up by both Cargolux and Luxair. The airline had two 747 jets but Cargolux's venture into the charter airline world prove unsuccessful and soon Lion Air folded.

Despite that setback, Cargolux made it into the 1990's in proper financial shape. They added two more 747's in 1990, as a way of celebrating their 20th anniversary, and in 1993, three 747-400F's (F is for Freighter) arrived at Luxembourg.

1995 saw Cargolux have a year round celebration because of its 25th anniversary and Heiner Wilkens was named CEO and President.

In 1997 various airlines saw activity regarding Cargolux's shares. Luxair, for one, was able to increase their share to 34 percent, while Lufthansa sold their 24 percent to Sair Logistics and Swiss Cargo made a cooperation agreement with the Luxembourg company.

1998 saw Sair Logistics increase their share to 33 per cent.

By 1999 Cargolux's fleet had reached double figures, with ten 747s flying for Cargolux.

In the year 2000 a route was opened to Seoul, South Korea, and in 2001 Wilkens decided to step down as President and CEO of the air company.