Today, AirBridgeCargo (ABC) announced that it has chosen Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) as its cargo handling partner at Liège (LGG). The move will support efforts to increase LGG’s cargo handle as the airport seeks to become one of Europe’s top five cargo airports by 2020.
The addition of WFS to the project comes ahead of the opening of ABC’s first phase of its new dedicated cargo area at LGG the carrier acquired in a 10-year lease with the airport last October. ABC invested €25 million to lease 25,000 square meters of warehouse space at LGG, plus another 2,000 square meters of office space.
Work for construction of ABC’s cargo facilities is divided into two phases with the first 12,500 square meters of warehouse space set to open in November 2019, followed by a second phase in mid-2020, when the rest of the warehouse space will become available. The Walloon Airports Co., operator of LGG, is also building four new aircraft stands to accommodate AirBridgeCargo’s expanding fleet.
AirBridgeCargo Airlines Europe vice president Andrey Andreev said, the close collaboration with WFS and LGG will support our intention to increase ABC’s current schedule of eight weekly frequencies from Liège to our target of 30 flights per week by 2020 in line with our customers’ wishes and the airline’s vision of joint, intensified cooperation.
This is a global project for AirBridgeCargo because, as well as representing a substantial enhancement of the company’s cargo infrastructure in the region, it will allow ABC to increase its use of Liège Airport to leverage major international trade flows, including for special cargoes, and extend the airline’s ability to meet the needs of global businesses and consumers.
For WFS, the development marks the entrance of the ground handler into the Liège market for the first time, which has been a strategic objective of the company, according to the company’s group chief commercial officer Barry Nassberg. It also expands on the traction WFS has gained at several European airports over the past year, following the company’s signing of cargo handling agreements, building new facilities and attaining CEIV-Pharma certification at various airports.
Liège Airport saw massive growth in 2018, when it handled 870,644 tonnes of cargo – a 21.5% increase compared to the year prior. In addition to welcoming ABC as a hub carrier, LGG will soon host the operations of Chinese e-tailer giant Alibaba’s logistics arm, Cainiao, as the company has selected the airport as one of six sites in its massive global network development project, as reported by our sister site, Air Cargo World. The airport has also recently adopted Nallian’s cloud platform to support integrated and secure data sharing between airport stakeholders, as well as seen the development of multimodal transport options in its surrounding area.