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NEWS Last modified on January 13, 2015

Liege returns to cargo growth but passenger numbers decline

After a mixed year in 2013 due to the difficult global economic situation, freight transport saw a return to growth at Liege Airport in 2014.

Liege Airport has confirmed its position as the number one cargo airport in Belgium with 590,579 tonnes passed through the gateway in 2014, against 560,949 tonnes in 2013, an increase of 5.3%.

The airport says all companies with a presence at Liege have played a part in this growth with TNT Airways, Ethiopian Cargo and CAL all improving, and the decision of Ana Airline Management to base its cargo fleet in Liege from late May has also contributed to this result it explains.

The number of aircraft movements increased by 2.66% from 41,047 movements in 2013 to 42,140 movements in 2014, meanwhile, passenger traffic showed a slight decrease (-3.95%) with 302,847 passengers handled in 2014 against 315,293 in 2013.

The closure during 2014 of the regular airline serving Tel Aviv and a decrease in the seating made available by tour operators are the two main reasons for this slight decrease.

Liege says, however, airlines on offer have all been very successful, as have the three new destinations available since summer 2014 (Casablanca by Jetair Fly, Ajaccio and Bastia by Air Corsica).

With regard to real estate, Liege says it is also successfully pursuing its diversification strategy through its subsidiary Liege Airport Business Park, and 668sqm of new office space has been built in the passenger terminal hall and are already fully leased.

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At the end of December 2014, Liege Airport Business Park had a 95% occupancy rate of offices and warehouses.

The outlook for 2015 for passenger traffic the airport says is encouraging, as Air Corsica is to develop and improve its services to Corsica and nearly 20 destinations are available for the summer.

Reflecting Liege’s expertise in transporting medicines and animals, expansion will include the current pharma centre being enlarged in 2015 and a reception centre for horses will be built.

This equestrian centre will optimise the infrastructure and the various welfare-related services for horses. Liege is the European leader for horse transportation by air and over 3,000 horses passed through the airport in 2014.

The 8th busiest cargo airport in Europe. says it remain “committed to its ambition and role as a major economic player at the service of the entire region”.

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