LAST year saw the best cargo results for a dozen years at Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport.
A total of more than 110,000 tonnes saw the Rhine-Rhur gateway’s airfreight business grow by an impressive 9.1 per cent over the previous year.
Extra belly capacity on airlines collectively operating some 180 international routes served by the airport was a main factor in the success.
“Many airlines using widebodied passenger aircraft with their substantial belly capacity, and the presence of the hubs of the Star and the One-World alliances, has added significantly to our growing belly cargo business,” says Gerton Hulsman, managing director of Düsseldorf Airport Cargo.
The airport is strategically located at the centre of one of the most bustling manufacturing and affluent population regions in Germany.
That explains the presence of an independent trucking network, which is also stimulating Düsseldorf’s cargo business.
Around 20 per cent of German exports and 22 per cent of the country’s GDP is generated in the Federal North Rhine Westphalia region.
“Last year we gained significant new airlines and routes, including American Airlines with daily B767-300 Chicago services, an extended contract with the IAG Group, Etihad’s continuing daily A330 services which link with Air Berlin’s daily A330 service to Abu Dhabi, and Emirates continuing to operate two daily B777-300ER flights,” Hulsman adds.
During the year, Iraqi Airways began regular flights to various airports in Iraq. “This is a rapidly developing country and we are very excited about the future potential for cargo expansion.”
The prospects for 2014 look very encouraging. “Capacity to and from the Far East is growing. Air China is increasing A330-200 frequencies to Beijng to five a week – and from the end of March ANA will is to a daily B787 service to and from Tokyo."
Major export cargoes through Düsseldorf include chemical products, machinery and machine parts, automotive, and electronic equipment and components.