Brussels Airport’s cargo volumes soar by 8.3% in 2017

09 / 01 / 2018

Brussels Airport handled 535,634 tons of cargo in 2017, a growth of 8.3% compared with 2016 and the highest volume in the last 10 years.

All freight segments at the European hub recorded growth last year, but belly cargo in particular saw “a sharp recovery” of 13.8% compared to 2016, while integrator services also enjoyed strong growth of 9.7%.

Cargo management reported that the full-cargo segment showed a "slight" increase of 3%, “due to an excellent first quarter and good volumes in November and December”.

Steven Polmans, head of cargo and logistics at Brussels Airport, said: “This 3% growth follows an increase of almost 15% last year compared to 2015. So despite some noise issues we had in Q2, resulting in a few airlines leaving the airport, we are very pleased to see that growth picked up again by the end of the year still resulting in an overall growth in this segment.”

Export volumes drove growth with an increase of almost 16%: “We have seen a remarkable increase in our volumes to especially the Far East and South America, supported by a strong performance of the European and Belgian economy”, continued Polmans.  

Brussels Airport recorded an increase of 18% in flown pharmaceutical products compared to 2016: “This sharp rise confirms the leading position of Brussels Airport as transport specialist for pharmaceutical products,” said airport management at the Belgian gateway.

For 2018, Brussels airport management is expecting cargo volumes to “continue performing strong in all segments”.

Later this year, Cathay Pacific will start A350 passenger operations to Brussels while in late 2017, Hainan Airlines started a B787 flight from Shanghai. Also, Emirates introduced a second daily B777 flight.

DHL Express moved to a new facility in August 2017, resulting in strong growth figures. As far as full cargo is concerned, Amerijet has announced a direct B767F Miami to Brussels rotation, connecting its Central American network with Brussels.

Added an airport spokesperson: “To cope with this continuous and strong growth, Brussels Airport will further strengthen its cargo team, as well as make considerable investments in its cargo area, BRUcargo.

“The airport will further introduce an additional handling agent later this year, after conclusion of the ongoing tender process.”

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