Cargo airline Cargolux launches aerial firefighting venture


A Luxembourg-based cargo airline, Cargolux, has expanded its operational scope with the introduction of a specialized business unit dedicated to wildfire suppression.

Aquarius Aerial Firefighting (Aquarius AFF), the newly established aerial firefighting unit, is committed to addressing “the root causes” of CO2 emissions by actively participating in wildfire containment efforts. The newcomer to wildfire combat services has recently taken delivery of three Air Tractor AT-802F Fire Boss aircraft, with plans underway to gradually expand its fleet to a total of twelve planes of the same model over the next three years.

“The inauguration of Aquarius Aerial Firefighting as a new business unit of Cargolux is an exciting new chapter in the company’s history. Over the past years, we have witnessed wildfires becoming a growing global issue that requires a rapid response. Not only do such fires emit significant amounts of CO2, but they also pose a significant danger to lives and livelihoods. As a responsible corporate citizen, I see it as our responsibility to help tackle this problem. I look forward to Aquarius Aerial Firefighting becoming an integral part of the solution,” Richard Forson, the Cargolux chief executive officer, was quoted in the statement released on January 12, 2024.

Cargolux anticipates that the trio of fixed-wing aircraft will be ready to start the aerial firefighting missions across Europe by May 2024.

What is the Air Tractor AT-802F Fire Boss?

The Air Tractor AT-802F Fire Boss is a single-engine, amphibious firefighting aircraft designed to operate in aerial firefighting missions. Manufactured by a Texas-based company Air Tractor, the amphibious aircraft comes as an upgraded version of its predecessor, the Air Tractor AT-802 agricultural aircraft.

Equipped with amphibious floats, the Fire Boss features efficiently scoop up to 3,200 liters (845 gallons) of water from lakes or rivers, facilitating rapid reloads and swift returns to firefighting missions. According to the manufacturer, the single Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop engine-powered aircraft is capable of landing on both land and water as well as operating in diverse terrains and conditions

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