Runway work restricts Maastricht’s air cargo volumes in 2023

Photo: Maastricht Aachen Airport

Maastricht Aachen Airport saw its air cargo volumes decline last year due to work being carried on its runway but registered “significant growth” in trucked freight volumes.

The Dutch regional cargo airport last year saw its air cargo volumes decline 70% year on year to 32,275 metric tonnes.

The airport said that the decline was largely the result of the €35.3m runway improvement works ahead of a project to extend the runway to 2,750 m. The work took around two months to complete.

The airport’s chief executive Jonas van Stekelenburg added that it was also a tough year for airfreight in general, with regional cargo airports more affected by volatility in the market than hub airports.

However, the airport did report a 270% year-on-year increase in trucked freight volumes to 31,056 metric tonnes to help offset some of the decline.

“MAA’s strategy to focus on, and improve, trucked freight volumes was, in part, a response to the impact the improvements on our runway were, and are, sure to bring about,” said Stekelenburg.

“The fantastic team at MAA managed to significantly offset the drop off in flown cargo volumes brought about by MAA’s runway improvement project and we are now well positioned to get flown cargo volumes back to 2022 levels and well beyond.”

Looking ahead, Steklenburg was positive about the coming 11 months after improvements in the cargo volumes at the end of last year and investments in the commercial team.

“MAA’s newly-launched Commercial Department in November last year, as part of its overall growth strategy, has already led to key discussions taking place with various airlines for 2024 and beyond,” he said.

MAA recently appointed a new head of commercial development, Dean Boljuncic, who is working to launch a Regional Cargo Community, supported by Air Cargo Netherlands.

Maastricht Aachen Airport opens renovated runway

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]