Slot constraints squeeze freighters out of Schiphol

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Cargo volumes at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol fell by 2.6 per cent in the first half of 2017 as slot constraints squeezed out freighter aircraft.

The Dutch airport handled 844,317 tonnes in the first six months of 2017, with full freighter volumes declining 9.4 per cent due to a decrease in air transport movements and the ongoing restrictions in slot availability.

Cargo travelling in the belly of passenger aircraft increased by 2.3 per cent, as China and the US remained strong, and an extension of the network led to growth in Latin America.

Schiphol director of aviation marketing, cargo and customer experience, Maaike van der Windt says the freighter figures were to be expected but the growth in belly cargo was a positive development.

She says: “The increase in belly volume is a positive development for Schiphol Cargo due to a slight growth in passenger flights since last year, and an expanded network across Latin America.

“Shanghai remains our main destination through the continued increase in e-Commerce in China, reaching more than 31,000 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, followed by the US with more than 22,000 tonnes.”

Despite the growth in e-commerce, imports from Asia were still down two per cent to 147,122 tonnes and exports by three per cent to 150,623 tonnes.

European imports declined seven per cent to 55,821 tonnes and exports were also down four per cent to 59,452 tonnes.

Imports from North America decreased 11 per cent to 64,768 tonnes and exports were dropped four per cent to 79,055 tonnes.

Latin American imports grew by nine per cent to 65,255 and exports by 15 per cent to 40,445 tonnes due to network expansion.

African markets were also positive with a seven per cent increase in exports to 26,674 tonnes though imports decreased five per cent to 56,733 tonnes.

Middle Eastern imports dipped two per cent to 42,666 tonnes and exports by 11 per cent to 55,218 tonnes.

Van der Windt says: “Although Schiphol is facing slot constraints, we are geared towards maintaining cargo volume in the years to come.”