Liège safe from UPS’ TNT takeover, for now

UPS denies it has plans to close TNT’s Liège (Belgium) hub operations following its takeover of the Dutch express operator.

UPS bought TNT for €5.16bn ($6.77bn) at the end of March and will eventually drop the TNT brand.

In a joint statement, the two said: “UPS recognises the significant value of TNT Express’ operations, assets and people in Liège and will seek to continue the future utilisation of these operations, assets and people within the combined group.”

However, Daniel Brutto, head of UPS International, reveals that at least some of Liège’s business will migrate to Cologne-Bonn. “Cologne is the future for our airline business,” he says.

Cargo traffic at Liège Airport fell 4.38 per cent in February this year, down to 52,124 metric tonnes of freight compared with 54,514 tonnes for the same period last year.

Commenting on the fall the airport says it is still an encouraging sign of recovery. “This cargo traffic decrease shows how the global economic crisis is affecting air cargo traffic [but it] has slowed by half compared with [last year’s] -9.90 per cent.”