Double Success for Liege

Liege’s number of airline clients is increasing. Last week, the airport welcomed the first Air China Cargo flight, followed by the landing of U.S. carrier National Airlines.

Liege’s fire brigade welcomes B777F of Air China Cargo  -  photo: LGG
Liege’s fire brigade welcomes B777F of Air China Cargo - photo: LGG

June has started well for LGG. Two new freight carriers operated their launching flights to Bierset Airport – Air China Cargo last Wednesday followed by National Airlines two days later. Both operate once a week. While the Chinese capacity provider will serve the sector Shanghai-Liege, National Airlines launched a Round The World (RTW) service, connecting Chicago-Liege-Baku-Hong Kong-Tokyo Narita-Anchorage and returning to Chicago O’Hare. The Boeing 747-400F was contracted by charter service provider Navitrans USA on a long-term lease with National Airlines. In a statement, Navitrans says that in addition to Liege, Maastricht will also become a European hub for their cargo services. This way, enabling other carriers to partner with Navitrans at LGG or MST, thereby giving them the opportunity to expand their services and lane segments from Europe to Africa and Russia.

Start of a fruitful cooperation
Steven Verhasselt, VP Commercial Liege Airport in his welcoming address upon the arrival of National’s B747-400F stated that: “We believe this will be the start of a long and fruitful cooperation.” He pointed out that the market demand is there and keeps increasing as the e-commerce era has just started. Directly addressing Navitrans, Steven said: “We thank them for their backing of the Liege strategy to support freighter operations in a dedicated freighter environment.”

The LGG cargo managers expect National Airlines soon double their flights from weekly one to two
The LGG cargo managers expect National Airlines soon double their flights from weekly one to two

Winning Air China Cargo and National Airlines / Navitrans as new customers, the month of June couldn’t have got off to a better start for LGG. But Steven wants more. Concerning Air China Cargo the manager took a look beyond the initial phase by stating that he expects more flights to follow, predominantly driven by the booming e-commerce business.
However, this is based on two main factors: steadily increasing volumes and the quality of ground service provided at Liege.

LGG exect Steven Verhasselt
LGG exect Steven Verhasselt

Flexpress becomes an important service tool
At Liege, both Air China Cargo and National Airlines, are serviced by local agent Liege Air Cargo Handling Services (LACHS). The company was established in 1997 and is fully owned by Israeli carrier CAL Cargo Airlines whose European hub is Liege. Being part of a freight carrier “enables us to think like an airline in every detail,” states LACHS.
It can be expected that particularly Air China Cargo, whose Triple Seven freighter will be mostly filled up with products from e-tailers, will greatly benefit from the recently launched airport tool Flexpress (CargoForwarder Global reported). It’s an electronic application developed for the aviation industry to assist individual companies to smoothly manage their e-commerce processes. The system’s special feature is that it  integrates data from airlines, handlers, customs, VAT and last-mile providers, offering users efficient solutions. Steven Verhasselt applauds the product by stating that: “With Flexpress, specifically serving e-commerce providers, and a growing number of connections with the Far East operated by FedEx, ASL Belgium and now Air China Cargo and National Airlines, Liege Airport is creating opportunities for exporters and importers willing to capture the immense opportunities offered to grow their business.”

Heiner Siegmund

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