Russian freighter operator AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has signed a ten-year lease agreement with Liège Airport that will see it set up its European hub at the Belgian gateway.
Following up on an memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed at the Farnborough International Airshow in June, Luc Partoune, ceo of Liège Airport, explained: “We welcomed the first flights in October 2017 because ABC had to reduce its presence in Amsterdam. Then we responded to the airlines's call for tenders launched earlier this year for the creation of its European hub.
“Thanks to ABC, we plan to reach one million metric tonnes by 2020 and become one of the top five cargo airports in Europe,” Partoune confirmed.
ABC will lease a total of 25,000 sq m of capacity at the gateway, including 2,000 sq m of office space, in two phases: the first phase will launch in June 2019 with a 12,500 sq m warehouse, the remaining space being added in early 2020.
The Walloon Airports Company will build four new aircraft stands to accommodate ABC’s growing fleet, a statement said.
Sergey Lazarev, ABC general director, commented: “It's been a year since we have been operating to Liège and we are delighted to see that our partnership is reaching a new height.
“With the lease of dedicated warehouse facilities for the next ten years and ABC’s intention to increase the number of weekly flights to Liège up to 30 within the next 1.5 years, AirBridgeCargo will be able to leverage growing market demand for special cargoes, especially e-commerce shipments,” he added.