Maastricht looking into 2016

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Maastricht Aachen Airport

Maastricht Aachen Airport is expecting double digit growth in 2016 after a stable year, James Muir writes.

The airport’s director, Sander Heijmans tells Air Cargo Week (ACW) that volumes in 2015 are expected to remain at around 80,000 tonnes but the arrival of Ethiopian Cargo means next year is looking very positive.

Heijmans says: “We are very optimistic for 2016; the fact that Ethiopian Cargo started operations to and from Maastricht as from October this year will boost our growth figures in the high double digits next year.”

“[Our] main imports are perishables and high tech. Exports is mainly general cargo, automotive and med-tech. Med-tech is a growing segment, the perishable market to Maastricht has grown stronger.”

For Maastricht, South America and Africa are very important markets, as well as the Middle East and Turkey.

Heijmans tells ACW: “Perishable imports originate from Africa and South America, this has not really changed over the years, but the imports from Ethiopia are new. High tech originates of course from the Far East.”

“And with Royal Jordanian Cargo and Turkish Cargo having their main Western European hub at Maastricht, Turkey and the Middle East are very important markets for us.”

Heijmans believes Maastricht has great growth potential. He says: “Two new platform positions for Boeing 747-800 will be built in the beginning of 2016. A further 9,000 square metres of cargo terminal capacity, including coolchain facilities and office space for forwarders, will be added in 2017 together with another two new platform parking positions for B747-800s.”

He adds: “At Maastricht we regard speed, quality and flexibility in the handling process against a competitive price as our USPs [unique selling proposition]. When we keep meeting these high standards, there will be ample opportunity to expand our business further.”