Air Belgium looks to add B747 freighter operations

By Damian Brett

Credit: Hactl

Air Belgium is looking to expand in the air cargo market through the addition of B747-8 freighter aircraft operations.

In a job advert posted on social media and the airline’s own recruitment page, Air Belgium is asking for captains and first officers qualified on B747-400s and B747-8s to apply for cockpit positions.

“Air Belgium is starting up operations on B747-8 Freighters beginning of next year and are looking for flight crew member,” the job advert reads.

The airline’s expansion in the cargo market shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, Air Belgium already operates four A330-200 freighter aircraft on behalf of French shipping and logistics firm CMA CGM.

Also, the airline is headed up Niky Terzakis who until 2014 was managing director/chief executive of express carrier TNT Airways.

At this stage details of the airline’s plans for cargo operations are thin on the ground – it is not known how many B747F freighters the airline plans to operate or where it will base them.

The airline’s passenger flights are hubbed out of Brussels South Charleroi Airport but its freighter operations on behalf of CMA CGM fly out of cargo specialist hub Liege.

Terzakis has plenty of experience operating cargo flights out of Liege as that was the home hub of TNT Airways.

It is also not clear whether the carrier will be flying the aircraft for itself, or on behalf of another company as it does with CMA CGM – its job adverts for A330 freighters also made no mention of the fact that the aircraft would only be operated by Air Belgium on behalf of another company.

The carrier also offers cargo services in the bellyhold of its A330 and A340 passenger aircraft, which operate flights to the Caribbean.

 

Picture special: Take-off for CMA CGM Air Cargo at Liege

 

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