Liege Airport handled a record amount of air cargo last year as it attracted a host of new freighter services.
The Belgian airport handled a total of 902,480 tonnes in 2019, which represents a 3.6% increase on 2018’s 870,644 tonnes.
The airport pointed out that it had achieved the growth despite a decline in the overall airfreight market.
Indeed, figures from Airports Council International Europe show that over the first ten months of the year airports in the region have reported a 2.3% drop off in traffic.
“Our performance is significant in the context of a year that experienced many upheavals, with a double figure growth for the first three months, slowing down between April and July and then declined in August and September. We bounced back at the end of the year,” explained Luc Partoune, chief executive of Liege Airport.
“This year, 2020, will be a year of major works and projects including, in particular, the impact study for lengthening the contingency runway. We are also working on the implementation of Alibaba, the bypass road, the construction of a hydrogen station and on training personnel to meet the very high demand. It will be a busy year during which we shall have to provide quality services to our customers, as well as investing in infrastructure and innovative solutions.”
The airport is the seventh busiest cargo hub in Europe and number one in Belgium.
Over the past 18 months Liege has welcomed several new freighter services, partly benefiting from Schiphol reaching capacity.
The airport is also targetting e-commerce volumes and recently signed a partnership with Alibaba.