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Liege Airport reports record-breaking year for cargo

By control on January 5, 2012

Financial turmoil sweeping the eurozone couldn’t restrain Liege Airport’s 2011 cargo volumes, which increased 5.5 percent, year-over-year. The Belgium-based airport, which transported 674,469.82 tonnes from January to December, also recorded a double-digit increase in aircraft movements in 2011.

According to a press release, Liege Airport saw 54,403 aircraft movements in 2011, compared to 48,515 in 2010. The airport’s general director Luc Partoune said these numbers speak to Liege’s focus on growth.

“While international air transport of goods decreased by 4 percent, on average, in the six months that followed the financial crisis, our airport continues to develop, with 5-percent growth in traffic for the year,” Partoune said in a statement. “The operators on site are expanding their business activities. ... This is undeniably a strong performance in a gloomy economic context.”

December was particularly lucrative for Liege Airport, according to the press release. The airport handled 55,808 tonnes of freight, a 6.7-percent jump from December 2010.

Officials hope this number goes up even more as Swissport increases its cargo presence at Liege Airport. As part of a €5 million initiative, Swissport is expanding its current warehouse from 3,900 square meters to 6,500 square meters. The ground-handling company will also rent a 6,200-square-meter warehouse in the north zone of Liege Airport, which was recently constructed by the firm Liege Airport Business Park.

Following the agreement, Liege Airport Business Park decided to invest in a new warehouse with an additional 6,000 square meters of space, Partoune explained. “These mutual investments provide a strong signal for the future growth of the airport and for an ever better service,” he said in a statement.

Officials at nearby Amsterdam Airport Schiphol aren’t as optimistic about the immediate future. In fact, Jos Nijhuis, Schiphol Group’s president and CEO, admits that 2012 will likely be rough.

“This year will be a challenging year, in which we are expecting to see passenger volumes stabilize and cargo volumes shrink,” Nijhuis said in a statement.

Schiphol’s 2011 cargo volumes remained “virtually unchanged,” however; the airport welcomed 1.5 million tonnes from January to December. Nevertheless, aircraft movements rose significantly at Schiphol in 2011, increasing 8.8 percent, year-over-year.

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