There were no changes in rank for the five airports with the largest handles during 2018 – all major transshipment hub airports in North America and the Asia-Pacific regions – but the five fastest-growing airports represent bright spots for air cargo during the year and into the future. These include Belgium’s Liege Airport (LGG), Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), Istanbul Ataturk Airport (ISL), Manila Airport (MNL) in the Philippines and Hamad International Airport (DOH).
With a volume increase of 21.58%, LGG had the fastest y-o-y growth among the top 40 airports for 2018. The airport has worked to position itself as a hub for both freighters generally and Chinese e-commerce logistics into Europe. During the first half of 2018, Cainiao, the logistics subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, selected LGG as one of its key European hubs, and within two months of that announcement Russian airline group Volga-Dnepr Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with LGG to bolster its European presence through development of a regional cargo hub at LGG.
Unfortunately, not all airports reported such positive results for 2018. As you can see in the chart below, several airports in Europe and Asia-Pacific, in particular, saw volumes decline compared to 2017, for a variety of reasons that airport operators are not eager to discuss.
In the case of Tokyo Narita (NRT), which fell one spot in the ranking to No. 9 with a 3.23% decline in volumes, the weakness is almost certainly due to the fact that major Japanese cargo carrier Nippon Cargo Airlines was forced to ground its entire freighter fleet over improper record-keeping. The carrier resumed operations over several months, reintroducing routes as it received approval to do so, but the grounding had a substantial impact on NCA’s traffic for the year, and on NRT’s cargo handle.
Like This Post