Brussels International Airport Europe’s preferred Pharma gateway
One of the largest airports in Europe, Brussels International Airport links the European capital with 232 destinations worldwide that are served by 78 different airlines. BRUcargo, Brussels Airport’s cargo area handles 650,000 tonnes of freight annually. Cargo volumes carried increased considerably during September 2014 by 10 percent compared with the same period a year ago. Given that Belgium is well known for its large share of worldwide export and import of pharmaceuticals, perishables and automotives, Brussels Airport provides high quality infrastructure and processes for these important market segments, such as temperature controlled warehouses and GDP certified handling procedures. The temperature controlled segment is a strategic priority for Brussels Airport, in order to further develop BRUcargo as the preferred pharma gateway in Western Europe. The Brussels Airport Authority takes a leading role in promoting and creating transparency in the cold/cool supply chain. In June this year, Brussels Airport launched an ambitious BRUcargo pharma certification programme with an objective to upgrade, align and standardize the pharma handling processes. It also aims at training industry stakeholders through the entire cool chain in and around the airport in order to improve the handling of pharmaceutical cargo with the objective to maintain the integrity of the product at all time. “For several years now, Brussels Airport has been focusing on improving the cool chain and pharma handling at Brussels Airport. Active in various industry bodies such as the Cool Chain Association (CCA) and the IATA Time and Temperature Task Force (IATA TTTF) Brussels Airport supports standardisation initiatives and promotes compliance to regulations and to international standards on a higher level for the benefit of the air cargo industry,” said Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo at Brussels Airport. With the support from the local government, Brussels Airport, the local chamber of commerce and Nallian have also launched a unique platform which will enable the various players at BRUcargo to securely exchange information. Based on Nallian’s cloud technology, the Cargo Community System (CCS) will enable the various players in the cargo zone to exchange information faster and more efficiently. “Nowadays, an efficient cargo community system is indispensable for the development of any logistics cluster and certainly for BRUcargo,” stated Steven Polmans, Head of Cargo at Brussels Airport. “We see an enormous increase in information in logistics; both in the available information and in the same time the need for information. The challenge that lies ahead is managing and steering this properly and we believe that, in Nallian, we have found the right partner to achieve this. By creating a system in the cloud rather than a traditional system, we also take the road to the future based on new technology and innovation. The platform we are creating will not only serve the cargo community in total, also individuals companies will be able to make use of this cloud and add their own application to it. We are confident we are creating something nobody has today, but everybody would like to have tomorrow.” The airport is a hub for domestic and international airlines such as Brussels Airlines, European Air Transport, Jet Airways, Singapore Airlines Cargo and Saudi Arabian Airlines Cargo. On the passenger side of the business, Brussels International Airport recorded exceptional figures for September 2014 with over 2.23 million passengers, which translates to an increase of 17.7 percent over September 2013. The increase covers both the domestic market and transfers. The third quarter of 2014 saw 17 percent growth compared with the same period last year, accelerating the growth already sustained from the second quarter (+16.1 percent). Commenting on the airport’s stellar performance, Arnaud Feist, CEO Brussels Airport Company said in a press statement, "The traffic figures recorded in September indicate a strong, on-going upwards trend and confirm the exceptional results recorded during the summer months. The huge growth in transfer passengers confirms the increasing role played by Brussels Airport as the Western Europe Star Alliance hub. It is also an important economic indicator, showing that Brussels Airport remains an essential player for the link between Belgium and the rest of the world". The rise in passenger numbers seen in recent months is continuing with an especially successful September and with 335,000 additional passengers over last year. This increase is a result of activities by Brussels Airlines, low-cost and long-haul airlines that benefit among other things from the launch of an Emirates daily direct Brussels-Dubai flight on 5 September. Apart from Dubai, Brussels Airport has gained a second new destination in September - Warsaw, operated by Brussels Airlines.