The continuous growth of cargo volume confirms that Brussels Airport Company’s strategy is paying off, said CEO Arnaud Feist when presenting the 2016 annual report. Now that a second cargo carrier has decided to pull out, this trend may very well be reversed.
Even in the airport’s annus horribilis 2016, the airport’s cargo volume grew by 1.1% to 495,000 tonnes, which was even better than the 491,000 tonnes originally budgeted. Contrary to the
passenger operation, cargo traffic was resumed only a few days after the horrible terrorist attack of 22 March 2016. The major drivers of the growth were Ethiopian Cargo and DHL Express.
Over the first four months of 2017 the tonnage grew by 21, 5% to 182,105 tonnes. Just a few days before the press conference highlighting last year’s results, Czech carrier Air Cargo Global moved its operation form Brussels to Amsterdam. Earlier Chinese company Yangtse Express also abandoned Brussels.
Magma Aviation considering move
The British carrier Magma Aviation, an important contributor to the airport’s Africa traffic, has announced a similar decision should the problem of fining ‘too noisy’ aircraft flying over the Brussels territory not be resolved in the not too distant future.
The fines are being imposed since 1 April, but until now their actual collection has been deferred. “This expression of indecisiveness has only increased the level of uncertainty,” says Arnaud.
Night slot review
This is why Brussels Airport is willing to review its night slot application system as part of a comprehensive agreement with the Brussels region that would secure sustainable development, Arnaud says.
The terrorist attacks in 2016 have cost Brussels Airport Company 6.6% of its turnover (486 million euros), some 29% of its EBIT (143 million euros) and 5 million euros of its net profit (65 million euros) compared to 70 million in 2015.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels