Liege Airport registered a decrease in airfreight business during 2012. The airport handled a total of 576,664 metric tonnes compared to 674,469 metric tonnes in 2011, a decrease of 14.5 percent.
“The close of 2012 saw a decrease in airfreight business at Liege Airport,” airport officials said in a year-end statement. “The global economic crisis, and in particular the situation on the European market, has had an impact on the tonnage transported.”
The airport attributed the cargo decline to a decrease in charter flights and the significant decrease in the activity of Southern Air.
On the positive side, Liege Airport saw the development of new cargo lines, adding these new operators and expanded service during 2012:
• Since the end of September 2012, ACT My Cargo has been making regular flights five times a week to Istanbul;
• Emirates Skycargo has started 3 operations a week: Dubai – Liege – New York (JFK);
• Niger Air Cargo has developed new operations from Liege to Niamey;
• TNT and CAL have increased the frequency of their flights to New York (JFK);
• Avient flies direct to Brazzaville and has set up regular flights to Erevan and the Caspian Sea region;
• Ethiopian Airlines is continuing to improve its cargo fleet by introducing 2 brand new Boeing 777Fs which operate daily in and out of Liege.
The airport reports that passenger traffic held up relatively well, showing just a slight decrease to 303,495 passengers compared to 309,222 in 2011, a drop of 1.85 percent.
Another positive note comes from the airport’s real estate activity. In October, the real estate subsidiary Liege Airport Business Park delivered a brand new Business Center covering 6,500 sq. m. and all the office space was taken in a few months, a year ahead of the initial schedule. A new office building covering 2,000 sq. m., mainly for the use of logistics businesses, will be opened in the north cargo zone early in 2013.
Liege Airport expects to invest more than €10 million in 2013 toward improvement of facilities for cargo services, passengers and real estate. In the north cargo zone, a new freight handling area will be built over 6,500 sq. m. as well as a new border inspection post. Office space will also be expanded in view of the strong demand.