BRU CEO Demands Overhaul of ‘Absurd’ Belgian Aviation Policy

Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist has pleaded for a revision of the Belgian legislation on the assignment of aviation traffic rights. In his New Year’s speech, he referred to the negative impact of Ethiopian Cargo’s move to Maastricht on the airport’s cargo volume.

CEO Arnaud Feist of Brussels Airport  -  credit MS
CEO Arnaud Feist of Brussels Airport - credit MS

During 2015, Brussels Airport has been able to raise its cargo tonnage by 7.8% to 490,000 tonnes. According to Mr Feist, in this respect ‘his’ airport compares favourably against its European competitors. Another highlight in the cargo business was the ‘Cargo Airport of the Year 2014’ award given at the Air Cargo China conference in Shanghai last June.

ET’s move to Maastricht has, however, seriously affected Brussels’ full-freighter tonnage over the last 2 months of the year, causing it to drop by 25%. The fact that Ethiopian Cargo was eventually blocked from serving Asian destinations ex Brussels, is another example of ‘Belgian absurdism,” said Mr Feist.

“For these flights we have been able to take volumes away from Schiphol and certainly not from other Belgian airports (not specifically naming Liege, MS). So we think that it’s about time to submit air traffic rights legislation to a profound overhaul. Only then can a situation like this be prevented from happening in the future,” the manager exclaimed.

Strengthening the pharma foothold
Back on the positive side, Arnaud Feist said that the strengthening of Brussels Airport as a foothold for pharmaceutical logistics is base on a concept that is nowhere to be found. Brussels Airport Company has proven itself very committed to this aim and to the cargo business as a whole. In the newly-launched promotional movie quite some emphasis is given to specialised cargo handling.

Of the 490,000 tonnes handled in 2015, 345,000 tonnes were generated by freighter traffic. Of this segment, which grew by 11.4%, 144,000 tonnes were transported by all-cargo carriers. The remaining 200,988 tonnes (+7.0%) can be attributed to DHL Express. Belly cargo has, for the time being stabilized, accounting for 144,000 tonnes.

Marcel Schoeters in Brussels

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