The decision of Italian ground handler BCUBE to start operating at Ostend under the brand BCUBE Aircargo Belgium provides the airport bosses some breathing space.
They came under heavy fire recently after critics claimed that there had been a large misuse of taxpayer’s money and that this fact is being kept under wraps by the officials responsible for Belgian’s Ostend and Antwerp airports (CargoForwarder Global, May 12, 2019).
“BCUBE is a game changer” at OST, CEO Buelens
Apparently, rumours of BCUBE taking over the financially struggling local Aviapartner unit, meanwhile operating as Aviation Services Ostend, have been proven wrong. Instead, the Italian ground handler starts business from scratch on its own at the Internationale Luchthaven Oostende-Brugge, located halfway between Antwerp and Calais in France.
Ostend Airport CEO Marcel Buelens is very pleased about the arrival of the new handler. “When we took over the operation of the airport five years ago, we had vowed to focus on three things: passenger services, general aviation and air cargo,” he says.
Mr Buelens went on to say: “The arrival of BCUBE will be a game changer. Due to the exit of ANA Aviation Services our once largest customer (that transited to Liege), some 60 people lost their employment. I had promised them that I would do whatever possible to bring the cargo activity back to its former level. This quest took off in 2017. 1,5 years later I am very glad that I have been able to make this promise come true and I am so proud to be able to introduce BCUBE Aircargo Belgium. This is a world-class organisation with which we hope to reposition OST on the international air cargo map.”
Business Unit Manager Eddy Myngheer adds that reliability is the key to success and expansion for an airport. “We are very pleased about the arrival of BCUBE Aircargo Belgium and can formally confirm that they are known for their highly qualitative and professional services. Cargo handling is not an easy business, which involves a lot of technicity, competence, flexibility and organisation skills, in warehousing as well as in the handling of cargo aircraft.”
Meanwhile, BCUBE is busy recruiting well-performing staff within the Ostend region. Apart from the economic boost triggered by the revival of cargo, OST will very soon be on the map of a lot of large international airlines, Mr Myngheer predicts.
Provided BCUBE succeeds, Ostend Airport may finally be able to fence off the recent accusations by environmental and resident groups on illegal subsidies given by the Flemish Government to keep both Ostend and Antwerp Airports alive. The government claims that the so-called subsidies are nothing more than provisions to which every landlord is committed.
Marcel Schoeters in Ostend