Freight Liege Airport to become European AirBridgeCargo hub

  • Liege Airport

Liege Airport has announced a cooperation with the Russian cargo carrier AirBridgeCargo which could enable Liege to become one of the top 5 cargo airports in Europe by 2020.

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The lease agreement comes as a logical extension of Memorandum of Understanding, which was signed between Liege Airport and Volga-Dnepr Group earlier this year during the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 in July.

Under new 10-year agreement AirBridgeCargo will lease warehouse premises for the total area of 25,000 sq. m. for cargo operations in the airport. The investment amounts to 25 million euros and includes 2,000 sq. m. of office space.

The project will be divided into two phases, with the first one to be launched in June 2019 when AirBridgeCargo will have its first 12,500 sq. m. warehouse. The second phase will commence in early 2020 with the rest of warehouse premises to follow. At the same time, the Walloon Airports Company plans to build four new aircraft stands to accommodate growing AirBridgeCargo fleet.

New AirBridgeCargo hub at Liege Airport
New AirBridgeCargo hub at Liege Airport © Liege Airport

“We welcomed the first flights in October 2017 because AirBridgeCargo had to reduce its presence in Amsterdam. Then we responded to their call for tenders launched earlier this year for the creation of their European hub. They liked the cargo DNA of Liege Airport. We had strong political support at both the federal and regional levels. AirBridgeCargo sees opportunities for expansion, can count on a quality workforce and rely on efficient Belgian customs. Thanks to AirBridgeCargo, we plan to reach one million metric tonnes by 2020 and become one of the top 5 cargo airports in Europe,” stated Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport.

Neither the airport nor the airline have stated if the opening of the new European hub will have an impact on the existing AirBridgeCargo route network. AirBridgeCargo operates a cargo network in Asia, with its main hub in Russia, Europe and America. Other European destinations of the Russian cargo carrier for example are Frankfurt/Main, Frankfurt/Hahn, Leipzig/Halle, Amsterdam, Paris, London and Milan.

AirBridgeCargo Boeing 747
AirBridgeCargo Boeing 747 © Liege Airport

AirBridgeCargo is a 100% subsidiary of the Russian airline holding company Volga-Dnepr Group. The subsidiary operates a fleet of Boeing 747-8F, B747-400F and smaller Boeing 737-400F.

Liege Airport is one of the largest European cargo airports with over 1.800 tons of freight per day. ASL Airlines Belgium, CAL Cargo Air Lines, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo, Icelandair Cargo and Qatar Airways Cargo already operate freight hubs at the Belgium airport. The only carrier operating passenger flights from Liege is TUIfly Belgium, which offers scheduled services to several destinations in the Mediterranean.

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