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Lyon airport logs solid freight growth

By Hpanchal on February 7, 2013

France’s Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport was among those registering growth in airfreight in 2012 with a rise of 1.4 percent compared to 2011. The airport processed 33,327 tonnes, including 30,120 tonnes of express freight.

After a 2.2 percent drop in 2011 compared to 2010, airfreight began to grow again in 2012. On a less positive note, belly freight showed a 3 percent drop, which airport officials attributed to the departure of Corsair flights from the region's airports and their centralization on Paris.

Lyon airport officials say there are two factors that are obstacles for belly freight. The holds of incoming passenger aircraft cannot always carry freight. Also, certain flights are not marketed by the airlines. Corsair's withdrawal from regional airports with its B747s has restricted available capacity even further. Turnaround times are very short and airlines are opting for pre-haulage of freight by road.

However, the arrival of Emirates last Dec. 5 with its five flights per week is expected to expand freight business. Nearly 300 metric tonnes were handled at the end of 2012, helping to stem the decline in this segment.

The airport also recorded a noticeable recovery in express freight business for all operators, with UPS in the lead. DHL is close behind it this year capitalizing on its second flight and on the launch of a 3rd turnaround service in December. DHL posted more than 15 percent growth in 2012. Alongside this increase in air business, DHL has considerably expanded its road base linked to express freight also on the site. The integrators account for 30,120 metric tonnes of cargo flights or 90 percent of the total flown.

Truck freight has grown 2.3 percent compared to last year with an estimated 105,000 metric tonnes. Freight is transported by truck to the airport platforms on its first stage and is then loaded onto the aircraft. It forms a significant share of the tonnage handled at the airport

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