Swiss shipping giant MSC has acquired the majority stake in a Milanese freighter airline. 

AlisCargo Airlines confirmed the transaction was the first part of a 100% acquisition by MSC

Said to be Italy’s sole freight-only intercontinental carrier, the cargo airline was the second airline project by Domenico Alcide Leali, who was also responsible for regional carrier Air Dolomiti. 

Once completed the acquisition will expand MSC’s Air Cargo division. 

MSC Air Cargo senior vice-president Jannie Davel said: “The acquisition of a majority share in AlisCargo Airlines is a step towards expanding MSC’s Air Cargo solution capabilities, and ultimately providing our customers with a quality and consistent offering.

“I am equally proud that we have found a partner that shares a common vision with us and has built a strong foundation for which we hope to further develop.”

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Formed in 2019, AlisCargo currently operates a fleet of four Boeing 777 200ER P2F aeroplanes. It uses Milan’s Malpensa airport as its main base. 

AlisCargo Airlines general manager Giacomo Manzon stated: “I am proud to see a group like MSC entering as a major shareholder of AlisCargo Airlines and developing further the project that Leali Group has initiated. I am thankful for MSC’s trust in us, and we will work hard together to make it a success story.”

According to the company, MSC Air Cargo currently provides a “complementary solution to MSC’s core shipping services and operates two aircraft managed by Atlas Air Worldwide between Europe, Central America and Asia”.

MSC plans to add two cargo planes in H2, and will also take over AlisCargo’s four jets and operating licences.