Another record year for Luxembourg Airport with 821,000 tonnes of cargo handled in 2016

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Jan 21, 2017: Luxembourg Airport has handled 821,000 tonnes of airfreight in 2016 over the 759,000 tonnes handled in 2015, representing a growth of 8.2 percent.

The growth for the month of December 2016 was 27 percent higher than the same month in 2015.

The growth at Luxembourg Airport was far higher than the European average of 6.8 percent. As a result, Luxembourg Airport has now overtaken Cologne-Bonn, the major airfreight hub for UPS, moving from 7th to 6th place in the European top 10 of the largest airfreight airports.

Luxembourg Airport is only preceded by Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Heathrow and Leipzig-Halle, the European hub of DHL.

Three factors contributed to this success: an overall increase of volumes in the second half of the year, a very strong “peak season” in the fourth quarter in the run-up to Christmas and the strong expansion of Qatar Airways in the second half of the year which increased its flights from 6 to 17 flights per week. Qatar Airways chose Luxembourg Airport as its European hub and it aims to further increase its number of weekly flights once more parking space becomes available on the Luxembourg Airport cargo apron.

The second half of the year was particularly strong with 8 percent growth in the 3rd quarter and no less than 16 percent in the 4th quarter.

Trade with China increased by 13 percent over the course of the year. Cargolux remains by far Luxembourg Airport's largest customer with 675,000 tonnes of freight equating to an 82 percent market share. Qatar Airways is now firmly in second position with

This fast growth required additional investment in cargo infrastructure. The largest investment was the extension of the Cargo Apron to increase its capacity from 8 to 12 Boeing 747-8 positions. The works for this extension will start at the end of January and represent an investment of approximately 40 million Euros. The works should be completed by mid-2018. A further extension for another 4 747s is still possible in the future potentially enabling a total capacity to 16 747s to be handled at the same time.

LuxairCargo furthermore invested in a new fast lane truck-loading terminal for ULDs and is extending the dedicated handling area for outsized and heavy shipment with a new building of 3,000 m2. This type of special freight also recorded a fast growth of 8.5 percent in 2016, totaling 70,000 tonnes.

A lot of unusual animals also found their way through Luxembourg Airport and Luxair Cargo's specialised veterinary services in 2016: 10 Brown Bears, 4 bulls, 6 camels, 34 cows, 1534 horses, 3457 pigs, 1047 dogs, 2 lynx, 65 swans, 9 tigers and 12 zebras all were carefully transported via Luxembourg Airport. In total, 139,766 animals passed through the doors of Luxair Cargo.

Finally, high-value and temperature-controlled pharmaceutical goods continued to play an important role for Luxembourg Airport. The volume of these goods increased to 30,000 tonnes in 2016, all precisely handled according to GDP certification standards. Both Luxair Cargo and Cargolux recently renewed their GDP certificate, which remains valid for 3 years.

In June 2016, lux-Airport signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Shanghai Airport’s Eastern Air Logistics to create a GDP certified trade lane between Luxembourg and Shanghai, which is similar to the MOU signed with Hong Kong Airport’s Cargo Terminal (HACTL). These agreements highlight the importance of Pharmaceutical goods for Luxembourg Airport. 44,170 tonnes equating to a 5.4 percent market share.

Atlas Air is in 3rd position with almost 39,000 tonnes followed by both China Airlines and Silk Way West Airlines, each at approximately 19,100 tonnes.

Photo: Lux-Airport – extension of the dedicated handling area for outsized and heavy shipment with a new building of 3,000 m2.

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