Blue Danube Airport Linz is on the road to success

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Blue Danube Linz Airport

Cargo at Blue Danube Airport Linz experienced strong growth of more than 20 per cent in 2017 driven by the road feeder service segment.

The airport serving Austria’s third largest city handled 53,976 tonnes of air cargo in 2017, the majority of which was transported on road services. Cargo travelling by air declined but the airport comments “the local volume is very pleasing”.

Describing the reasons behind the growth in road volumes, the airport explains it was driven by: “Quality, customer orientation and the economic upswing in our core catchment area are the key factors.”

Looking ahead, Linz says the second half of the year is always stronger, and it hopes to increase the volume of flown freight, with further growth predicted for 2019.

Linz Airport tells Air Cargo Week: “We have a dense trucking network to the most important airports in Western Europe and are in the process to establish a better network to Eastern Europe.”

Linz has the advantage of being within the biggest export region in Austria while five of the 10 most important economic regions in Europe are within the airport’s catchment area. The main competition comes from surrounding hubs including Vienna and Munich.

The airport says: “We offer the complete logistical network at the airport and have less throughput time due to lean processes, experienced staff and short distances. We closely cooperate with our clients in order to provide tailor-made solutions.”

It adds: “We are open 24/7 for all kinds of cargo aircraft and many of the important global forwarding agents are located directly at the airport.”

Cargo aircraft visiting the airport including Boeing 747-400s, 747-8s, 777s and even the Antonov AN-225, though it has not flown to Linz recently.

The airport says: “There are 1-2 regular flights on a daily basis, additionally some ad-hoc flights. Of course, the airport is actively looking to receive more regular freighter services.  That´s one of our main goals for the near future.”

Ad-hoc freighter flights include transporting horses, as Linz is the only airport in Austria able to accept all kinds of hoofed animals. Flight numbers vary from year to year but there is usually at least one charter per year.

The airport comments: “Once we had to ship 400 horses to India.”

The focus for the future is digitalisation and renewing infrastructure. The airport says: “In addition to that we permanently adapt our terminals and equipment to satisfy the needs of our customers.”

More cargo flights would also help Linz, with the airport saying: “Additional cargo flights on regular basis could sustainably establish Linz airport as a cargo hub in Austria. This is the biggest challenge and opportunity for our airport.”