Luxembourg Airport cargo volumes rise 8.2 percent in 2016

Luxembourg Airport announced that its cargo volume was up 8.2 percent, compared to last year, reaching 821,000 tonnes in 2016.

The growth rate was almost double that of last year’s and well ahead of IATA’s November year-to-date numbers for 2016 – a 3.2 percent rise in global freight-ton-kilometers (FTKs). The numbers approach the airport’s 2007 bumper year of 856,741.

Luxembourg said that it had usurped Cologne-Bonn, moving from 7th to 6th place in the European top 10 airfreight airports ranking.

Recently, Qatar went up against Cargolux, setting up shop at the airport, which Qatar CEO Uli Ogiermann called, “a no-brainer.” In the second half of the year, Qatar increased its flight frequencies from 6 to 17 per week.

Qatar Airways chose Luxembourg Airport as a European hub, and it aims to increase its number of weekly flights once more ramp space becomes available on the Luxembourg Airport cargo apron.

The airport’s second half of the year was particularly strong with 8 percent growth, year-over-year, in the 3rd quarter and 16 percent, y-o-y, in the 4th quarter. December 2016 was up 27 percent, y-o-y.

Cargolux remains Luxembourg’s largest customer, at 675,000 tonnes of freight, or 82 percent of total volumes. Qatar Airways said it is the second-largest carrier in terms of cargo volumes, at 44,170 tonnes. And while Qatar Cargo boss Uli Ogiermann sees the expansion as a way to leverage capacity and jets, the return of the former Cargolux boss to the airport, at the helm of a competitor is certainly an interesting dynamic.

Qatar’s presence is a product of its equity stake in Cargolux, during which time it negotiated fifth-freedom rights between Luxembourg and Qatar. That stake was later sold off to HNCA, which is why Cargolux is aiming high in Zhenghzhou. Qatar is now leveraging those fifth freedom rights to launch new routes through Luxembourg.

Those interested in learning more about the changing air freight landscape should join us at Cargo Facts Asia in Shanghai, 25 – 26 April, where a session will be devoted to the topic.  To register, or for more information, go to

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