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“Existing airports face very strong competition to get their share of business on the basis of advantages that are hard to replicate,” she says.
Activity at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, which ranks sixth on the list, flourished in 2010. The airport is an important European hub for FedEx, Air France and Europe Airpost, and the majority of goods routed through the port were set on trade lanes to Asia and North America.
Paris-CDG officials are currently working to establish a group of cargo specialists. Frisch also points to recent parking-stand expansions that will provide the extra space needed for the new B747-8F.
While French cargo benefited from the global rebound, there are new economic challenges ahead. The current state of Europe’s debt troubles and rising gas prices are reflected in CDG’s second-quarter numbers for 2011. After a 3.9-percent, year-over-year tonnage increase in the first quarter, the market faltered.
“This last quarter’s mixed results are, in part, explained by the Japanese catastrophe in March 2011, but also by the current economic context in Europe and the U.S,” Frisch says. “We usually say that cargo reflects the world economy — and this would once again appear to be the case.”