THE depressed economic environment has had a profound effect on the airfreight sector and the consequences were felt directly by cargo-friendly Liege Airport last year.
“The close of 2012 saw a decrease in airfreight business at Liege Airport,” admits a spokesperson.
Over the 12-month period, 576,664 tonnes were handled by Liege, as opposed to 674,469 in 2011 – a decrease of 14.5 per cent.
“The global economic crisis, and in particular the situation in the European market, has had an impact on the tonnage transported,” a statement adds.
The drop in traffic is attributable to a decrease in charter flights and, in particular, to the demise of freighter operator Southern Air.
Despite the difficulties, cargo-carrying airlines have been choosing the Belgian airport in recent months – and new destinations are being served, with Liege now receiving ACT My Cargo’s five-times-a-week services to Istanbul; Emirates SkyCargo’s three rotations a week, operating Dubai-Liege-New York (JFK); Niger Air Cargo has developed new operations from Liege to Niamey; both TNT and CAL have increased the frequency of flights to New York (JFK); and Avient now flies direct to Brazzaville and has set up regular flights to Erevan and the Caspian Sea region.
In another expansion, Ethiopian Airlines is continuing to improve its cargo fleet by introducing two brand new B777Fs, which will operate daily in and out of Liege.