The clash between Qatar Airways and the local Cargolux shareholders came after the board refused to accept Al Baker’s demands to install Richard Forson as permanent CEO. Forson, formerly chief financial officer of Qatar Airways, has been the cargo airline’s interim CEO since Frank Reimen departed in July. There have been numerous indications of earlier board disputes over strategy and personnel issues, and Al Baker has become increasingly frustrated by a lack of support.
Not many details of strategy differences have emerged publicly, but one involves the airline’s future fleet. The board has discussed changing some of its outstanding orders to the smaller Boeing 777F, an initiative proposed by Qatar. Cargolux’s fleet of large-capacity freighters makes it particularly vulnerable to downturns, as the aircraft can only be operated economically on a very limited number of trunk routes.