Extra capacity gets Zurich off to a flying start

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Zurich Airport, picture credit Flughafen Zurich AG

Cargo is off to a strong start in 2017 at Zurich Airport helped by SWISS International Airlines increasing capacity with Boeing 777s.

After 5.3 per cent growth in 2016 to 433,577 tonnes, with a 7.2 per cent increase in air volumes making up for a weaker rise of 0.7 per cent in road volumes, the first three months of 2017 have been strong. Each month has been strong; January was up 10.1 per cent and February by 8.9 per cent before a surge of 21.3 per cent in March to 43,372 tonnes, with exports picking up this year.

Zurich Airport’s operator, Flughafen Zurich tells Air Cargo Week: “One of the main reasons for this pleasing development is the capacity increase by our hub carrier SWISS International Airlines: Zurich Airport benefits from higher cargo capacity resulting from the integration of the Boeing 777 into the SWISS fleet.”

Publicly quoted Flughafen Zurich does not give out detailed forecasts for the future but describing the year ahead it says: “We are confident about the further development in the cargo business.”

Air cargo remains very important for Switzerland, by value with one third of all exports leave the country on this mode of transport.

Zurich says: “Pharmaceutical products as well as exports from the machinery industry play a large part in this. In addition, there is also an above-average share in consignment of valuables at Zurich Airport.”

Zurich does not have any major plans for infrastructure apart from optimising what is already there. Switzerland is an expensive country and Zurich says providing customers with infrastructure that is both optimal and affordable at the same time can be a challenge.

Flughafen Zurich says: “Zurich Airport concentrates on being in line with the market and competitive with its air cargo infrastructure.”