October 10 - AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has introduced a freighter call at Liege Airport, Belgium.
Starting with its winter schedule, ABC will gradually increase its cargo capacity up to 12 flights per week using its fleet of Boeing 747 freighters.
"We have a long history of cooperation with Liege airport via Atran Airlines (part of Volga-Dnepr Group)," explains Sergey Lazarev, general director of ABC. "With significant improvement of our inland options and building of mutually-beneficial collaboration with our trucking partners, we are optimistic about ABC's future in Liege and the benefits it will bring to our customers."
ABC's addition of Liege Airport, which brings its total number of European destinations to 13, follows the imposition of slot restrictions at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands, which threatens freighter operators with a potential loss of up to 20 percent of their slots.
The number of slots at Schiphol is capped at 500,000 a year until 2020. Recent growth at the airport means it has reached this limit and has been forced to adopt the IATA 80:20 policy, which specifies that any airline which has not flown 80 percent of its scheduled slots loses its right to them.
Due to the ad hoc nature of the air cargo and freighter industry, it is expected that these airlines will be the hardest hit by the restrictions while airports in Luxembourg, Liege, Frankfurt and Brussels, are set to benefit.