Liege Airport records a strong start to 2024

image credit: Liege Airport

Liege Airport has announced an increase of flights (+15%) tonnage (+13%) in the first two months of 2024 compared with the same period in 2023.

Over the months of January and February 2024, the number of cargo aircraft movements increased by 15% compared with the same period in 2023 (4,147 movements versus 3,609 movements).

Freight traffic rose by 13% (175,593 tonnes versus 155,017 tonnes), in a highly competitive market where some ten airports are in competition with Liege Airport.

This trend in volumes is in line with the evolution of global demand, as revealed by an analysis from WorldACD Market Data.

According to this analysis, the combined figures for January and February 2024 show an increase in tonnages of +13% this year compared with the equivalent two-month period last year.

The airport’s transformation continues, with operations taking place more and more during the day and less and less at night.

The reorganization of Fedex’s European activities and the transfer of two-thirds of its operations to Paris in early 2022 are behind a massive reduction in night flights.

More broadly, the evolution of day/night movements from 2021 to 2023 (see below) perfectly illustrates this change, with almost 52% night flights in 2021 and a clear majority of day flights in 2023 (67%).

The number of night flights has been halved (-53%) between 2021 (23,558 flights) and 2023 (11,187 flights).

Laurent Jossart, CEO Liege Airport explains: “This demonstrates the robustness of our model.

“Despite the significant reduction in Fedex activities in 2022 following its partial departure for Paris Charles de Gaulle, despite the loss of the Russian cargo company Airbridge Cargo, and despite difficult market conditions, Liege Airport is demonstrating its resilience.

“Thanks to a well-diversified portfolio of air and logistics operators, we have overcome all these difficulties, and are on the road to significant growth in the coming years.”

Over 40 cargo airlines now operate regularly at Liege airport, and the main customer represents no more than 15% of total volumes handled at the airport.

Five new airlines have joined us since the beginning of 2024 (Compass Cargo Airlines, My Freighter, Hong Kong Air Cargo Carrier, Turkish Cargo, Egyptair Cargo).

Challenge Airlines is also expanding its fleet with modern freighters, and extending its network with new connections to India and China.

Finally, in recent days, FedEx has confirmed its ambitions at Liege Airport by basing its intercontinental European air freight hub here, and has increased its daytime flights to/from the USA with modern 777Fs.