Air cargo slump does not stop Liege

The 2019 downturn in air cargo demand did not stop one resurgent European hub from boosting volumes.

Belgium’s Liege Airport posted a new record of over 900,000 tons of goods transported last year, up 3.6% year-over-year from the 870,644 tons handled in 2018.

Europe’s airfreight market was slower in 2019, with Brexit and the trade war between China and the United States acting as dampeners on demand.

Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport, said the performance of the hub was “significant” in the context of a year when volumes were volatile, with double-figure growth for the first three months,a slowdown between April and July and then a decline in August and September.

“We bounced back at the end of the year,” he added.

“This year, 2020, will be a year of major works and projects including, in particular, the impact study for lengthening the contingency runway,” Partoune said. “We are also working on the implementation of Alibaba, the bypass road, the construction of a hydrogen station and on training personnel to meet the very high demand.

“It will be a busy year during which we shall have to provide quality services to our customers, as well as investing in infrastructure and innovative solutions,” he said.