ACW - Air Cargo Week
Brussels bucks trend on freight volumes
Brussels airport handled 46,409 tonnes of cargo in March, up by 6.1 percent over the same month of 2011.
And, over the first quarter of this year, the gateway to the Belgian capital and the rest of Europe processed 121,348 tons of freight, up by 3 percent on the same three months of last year.
Cargo throughput at Brussels was up by more than 6 percent in February and March, the airport operator noted, following a sluggish start in January.
Over the quarter, the amount of air freight carried in the bellyhold space of passenger aircraft remained steady but the amount of cargo carried on freighters rose by 4.3 percent year-on-year.
The number of dedicated freighter aircraft movements also increased year-on-year over the course of the first quarter, by 4.6 percent.
All-cargo operators who proved particularly successful over the period were EVA Air Cargo, Korean Air Cargo, Saudi Airlines Cargo and Singapore Airlines Cargo.
Steven Polmans, head of cargo at Brussels airport, comments: "Despite the global downward trend in cargo volumes and the economic situation in Europe, we are very pleased with the results we are seeing.
"It would be wrong to conclude that our customers and stakeholders are not (being) affected by the difficult situation today, but it also shows that there are opportunities at Brussels.
"We still have routes not being served out of Brussels with good demand and cargo volumes." he pointed out.
"So we work hard and hope we can soon have direct links with these destinations so we can continue growing the business at our airport."
Supporting that hoped-for growth will be a new 23,000m2 facility at Brucargo, the area of the airport that is dedicated to freight. It will be used by cargo agents.
Furthermore, the addition of a second 25,000m2 facility – also with direct ramp access – is already being considered.
>> Last year, Brussels airport processed a total of 475,124 tonnes of cargo, of which 338,403 tonnes was carried in all-cargo aircraft.