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Asian cargo drop stunts Amsterdam Airport’s growth

By control on August 29, 2011

The first half of 2011 brought mixed results for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s cargo business. Although freight volumes rose 5.2 percent, year over year, tonnage dropped steadily throughout the six-month period, leading to a 1.6-percent decline in June.

Schiphol Group, which owns and operates Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, blames some of this decline on reduced volumes to and from Asia. China, in particular, presented challenges for the airport, Schiphol Group President and CEO Jos Nijhuis revealed.

Passenger traffic fared better than freight, however. Rising 12.7 percent from the first half of 2010, passenger volumes were propelled by increased travel to Europe and better position in the origin and destination market, Schiphol Group representatives said.

Still, Schiphol passenger volumes could soon follow in the footsteps of airfreight, airport officials fear. After all, they say, cargo movements often precede passenger traffic trends by six months.

Not that Schiphol Group isn’t taking steps to reverse this trend, Nijhuis maintained. “In the past, this proved to be an early sign of an overall growth contraction,” he said in a statement. “At the same time, we are planning some major steps forward in the long-term development of the Mainport, which involves an ambitious investment program.”

It’s why he’s so optimistic about Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s success in the second half of 2011. “Growth figures for traffic and transport are higher than expected, which translates into good results and the expectation that results for the year as a whole will be better than in 2010,” he said in a statement.

Some areas of particular improvement for the Netherlands-based airport included EBITA, which rose 34.1 percent to €258 million, and revenue, which surged 10.8 percent to €604.1 million. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s operating result also increased dramatically, increasing 58.5 percent to €158.5 million.

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