The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union's long-term financing institution, has just signed a contract to lend USD 106.5 million (LUF 3 900 million)(1) to help fund modernisation and expansion of Cargolux's freighter fleet. This loan has been negotiated in the context of the purchase of two additional Boeing 747/400F aircraft, at present the largest civil freighter available on the market. These acquisitions will enable Cargolux to increase its capacity by nearly 30%.

This operation has been concluded with a banking syndicate led by Landesbank Schleswig-Holstein Girozentrale and comprising also the Banque et Caisse d'Epargne de l'Etat, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg, Landesbank Rheinland-Pfalz Girozentrale, Landesbank Sachsen Girozentrale and Südwestdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale.

The new 747/400F aircraft consume 16% less fuel than the earlier 747/200Fs, with a freight-carrying capacity of 129 tonnes against 119 for the preceding model.

EIB Director General, Pitt Treumann, welcomed this opportunity for the Union's long-term financing institution to contribute to expansion of Cargolux's capacity, aimed at providing efficient and competitive services and serving to create some fifty new jobs. He was also pleased to see the support offered by Cargolux to European exporting firms.

"As an air freight company based in Luxembourg, Cargolux is pleased to be able to benefit from the support of such a major financial institution as the EIB, also based in Luxembourg", said Jean Donat Calmes, Senior Vice-President Finance at Cargolux. "The terms offered by the EIB provide an excellent springboard for Cargolux's expansion plans".

(1) The conversion rates used by the EIB for statistical purposes during the current quarter are those obtaining on 30 September 1997, when ECU 1 = FRF 6.60, LUF 40.57, GBP 0.69, IEP 0.76 and USD 1.113.