In the midst of a year still marked by the pandemic for the airline industry, Liege Airport reports it has seen strong renewed growth in 2021.
Freight traffic reached 1,412,498 tonnes (+26%), as opposed to 1,120,643 tonnes in 2020.
The growth in the number of daytime flights and the increase in multi-modality have continued, as has the number of humanitarian and pharmaceutical flights.
The 2021 figures for Liege Airport show a continuation of the trend seen in 2020, as CEO Laurent Jossart explains: “The global disruption of supply chains, and the lack of air transport capacity in the holds of passenger aircraft, are trends that emerged in 2020 and that have also spurred our growth in 2021. Humanitarian equipment, the pharmaceutical sector and healthcare (masks, vaccines, medicines) are the main market segments.”
Laurent adds: “Thanks to our multimodal approach, Liege Airport and the logistics sector had anticipated being at the centre of European cross-border trade. The growth in the amount of rail freight coming into the Liege Logistics terminal has been outstanding. Between them, the Liege rail terminals, which have connections to China, handled 16,103 containers in 2021, an increase of almost 70% over the numbers for 2020. That’s 172,893 tonnes, both for imports and exports (+66%), with significant growth in the number of full containers for export.”
Passenger traffic has also shown some signs of recovery, with 76,493 passengers, as against 44,487 passengers in 2020—a 72% rise. That said, this is still a long way from the 170,737 passengers we saw in 2019.
The number of aircraft movements has also increased, with 45,699 movements in 2021 (13.4% more than the 40,301 figure for 2020). The number of cargo-aircraft movements rose from 34,310 in 2020 to 38,393 last year, an increase of 12%.