For most airports, 2017 was a very good year for cargo. But at Brussels Airport (BRU), which reported its total 2017 cargo handle at 535,634 tonnes, for an increase of 8.3 percent, year-over-year, 2017 represented the biggest surge in volume in the last decade.
All cargo segments at the airport experienced growth during the year, but belly cargo was particularly strong with 13.8 percent, y-o-y, growth.
Exports from the airport increased substantially during the year at almost 16 percent, with Steven Polmans, head of cargo and logistics at BRU, saying that, “We have seen a remarkable increase in our volumes to especially the Far East and South America, supported by a strong performance of the European and Belgian economy.”
Growth in demand for air transport of pharmaceuticals also helped drive airfreight growth at the airport, as BRU saw an 18 percent uptick in pharma airfreight in 2017, compared to 2016.
In December, cargo handler Worldwide Flight Services gained the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) CEIV-Pharmaceuticals certification at its Brussels cargo station, after installing two new dedicated pharma storage cells at its main Brussels warehouse to keep pace with growing volumes of pharma cargo through the airport.
DHL Global Forwarding tripled the size of its temperature-controlled facilities at the airport back in May 2017.
Brussels Airport management expects the upcoming year to bring more good news for its cargo performance with the addition of new scheduled flights to the airport late in 2017 and during 2018.
Amerijet will begin offering a direct cargo route between Miami and Brussels during the second quarter of 2018 and Cathay Pacific will begin offering four weekly flights from Hong Kong to Brussels beginning in March.