After a fantastic year in 2017, Billund Airport managed to maintain good results in 2018, vice president of airfreight Jan Ditlevsen tells Air Cargo Week.
The Danish airport handled 73,221 tonnes in 2018, up 1% on 2017. Imports were down 1.9% and exports were up 2.7%. This year got off to a slow start due to the early Chinese New Year but Billund is still 1.5% ahead of where it was in the first quarter of 2018. Billund handled 17,873 tonnes in the first quarter of 2019.
Cross-border traffic is predicted to grow, with Ditlevsen saying: “We expect to see more cargo to/from Northern Germany, Sweden and Norway as Billund Airport is an uncongested fast lane to these markets especially for freighters that operate direct at Billund.”
Being located in the middle of the ‘Danish Factory’, Billund handles industrial cargo including wind turbines, pumps, electronics, machinery and other goods.
Imports include textiles, electronics and a lot of salmon from both Norway and the Faroe Islands.
China is the biggest market, and Shanghai is the top destination for both imports and exports.
Ditlevsen says: “We are working on a direct China connection and the potential cargo is within our catchment area – we expect the Scandinavian market to grow with minimum 4% per year for the next 20 years.”
Billund’s location is expected to serve it well in the future, with Ditlevsen saying: “With our position in the southern part of Scandinavia, we see Billund airport as a gateway to and from Scandinavia, with easy access to both import and exporters of cargo.”