Freighter fortunes boost Incheon

SEVERE though it was in the first half of the year, the slump in cargo demand did not make much of a dent in Seoul’s Incheon International Airport in the final reckoning for 2009. At the outset of the year Incheon International Airport Corp had scaled down its 2009 target to two million tonnes, but the final result came in at 2,312,881 tonnes, not much below the 2.42 million tonnes that passed through the airport in 2008.

Freighters played a major role in this recovery. Their share of Incheon’s total last year was 64 per cent, up from 60 per cent two years earlier.

The slump certainly has not dented the pace of IIAC’s expansion plans. Phase three of Incheon’s development kicked off late in 2009, one year ahead of schedule. Its main thrust is the construction of a second passenger terminal, but the plan also calls for an expansion of cargo buildings and aprons. An area of more than 3.2 million sq ft has been prepared for the cargo terminal site. IIAC plans to create 64 more parking positions for freighters before 2025, bringing the total number to 100. The expansion is going to boost Incheon’s capacity from currently 4.5 million tons to 5.8 million.

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