Liege Airport saw freight transport decline in 2022 as passenger numbers rose

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2022 was mixed year for Liege Airport, with a decline in freight transport and a strong increase of passengers. With more than 1,140,000 tonnes transiting through its facilities, the airport is still in pole position in Belgium and in the European top.

In terms of passenger activity, Liege Airport welcomed 166,898 passengers in 2022, an increase of 118% compared to 2021. Several million euros are also being invested in the environment.

After two exceptional years (2020 and 2021), with a growth of 50% and 1,140,060 tonnes of freight transported in 2022 compared to 1,412,498 tonnes in 2021, Liege Airport confirms its position as Belgium’s first cargo airport.

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“After two years of strong growth in air cargo capacity and supply (conversion of passengers aircraft to cargo, reactivation of older cargo aircraft, strong growth in e-commerce…), Liege Airport, like all ‘cargo airports’, is experiencing a decrease compared with 2021 (-19%),” Laurent Jossart, CEO of Liege Airport, said.

Read more: Liege Airport welcomes MSC Air Cargo

“This decrease was predictable, given the geopolitical instability created by the war in Ukraine, the current global tensions and the Covid zero strategy in China, Jossart added

“For us more specifically, we have to add the restructuring of Fedex and the stop of AirBridge Cargo activities. The double-digit inflation had also a significant negative impact on consumption, e-commerce and therefore on the overall flow of goods” he continued

The volume of transported goods has also been impacted by two significant parameters: the resumption of passenger flights and therefore of belly cargo and a modal shift from air to sea transport with the end of disruptions in the maritime logistics chain and a strong decrease and return to normal in maritime transport tariffs after two years of regular increase.