A grand total of 821,000 tonnes of air cargo passed through the Grand Duchy's only airport in 2016. That's equivalent to the weight of 137,000 elephants, 45,000 buses, or about 13,000 army tanks!
The growth rate for 2016 was 8.2%, roughly double the growth figure for the period 2014 to 2015 (with the throughput of 759,000 tonnes of cargo). It is worth pointing out that this rate is much higher than the global average of 3.2% calculated on the basis of the statistics for November 2016 drawn up by the IATA (International Air Transport Association).
A growth level that is much higher than that of its European competitors (average growth of 6.8%). The good general results enabled Luxembourg Airport to do better than Cologne-Bonn airport, moving up from 7th to 6th place in the Top 10 of Europe's largest freight airports. As a result, the Grand Duchy's airport at Findel is only bettered by the airports in Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, London-Heathrow and Leipzig-Halle.
The reason for its success is a good second half of the year
Lux-airport considers three main factors contributed to its good result:
- the overall increase in throughput volume during the second half of the year – growth was 8% in the third quarter and 16% in the final quarter,
- a very busy 'high season' (the final quarter up to Christmas) (27% more cargo in December 2016 than in December 2015),
- the sustained development of Qatar Airways, which has increased its number of weekly flights from 6 to 17.
Despite this substantial development of Qatar Airways, Cargolux remains the main client of Luxembourg Airport. In 2016, Cargolux carried 675,000 tonnes of freight - a market share of 82% - compared with 44,170 tonnes (5.4%) carried by Qatar Airways in second position, and 39,000 tonnes (4.7%) carried by Atlas Air.
Substantial investment to cope with future challenges
In response to this evolution in the market, Lux-airport has invested some 40 million euros in increasing the number of stands for Boeing 747-8-type aircraft from 8 to 12. This work to expand capacity began at the end of January 2016, and is scheduled for completion in mid-2018. LuxairCargo is also currently erecting a new 3,000-sq.m. building to be able to handle bulky and exceptional freight.
(article written by the editorial team of the portal luxembourg.lu)