Friday, July 29, 2011

Schiphol Air Freight Continues to Grow

Good Results for Dutch Hub
Shipping News Feature

NETHERLANDS - Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has continued to show healthy cargo growth throughout the first six months of 2011. Overall freight tonnage handled through the airport was 753,073 tonnes - up 5.2% compared to the same period of 2010.

Schiphol has outperformed 2010 in four out of six months so far this year. The most notable increase was 19%, in April; however, this was largely due to comparison with April 2010, which was affected by the closure of European airspace during the Icelandic volcanic ash clouds.

The June 2011 figures show an overall decrease of 1.6% compared to June 2010, but Schiphol Cargo VP Enno Osinga remains cautiously optimistic about the year as a whole:

“Recent developments are in line with IATA’s overall statistics. But the increase of 5.2% at Schiphol is very acceptable to us, in particular when you consider the scale of our overall volumes. It’s significantly better than the performance of the other three major European gateways. Within an industry that continues to face many challenges, Schiphol is showing respectable growth.”

Latest figures reveal that Schiphol has maintained its third place on the European airports cargo league table, and is the only one of the top four European cargo gateways to show year-on-year growth. A regional analysis of the half year figures shows strong growth in Middle East cargo (+22.4%) and North America traffic (+17.9%), while Asia traffic is down 6.2%. The latter result is partly due to the impact of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March, but is mostly influenced by a revised method of calculating regional breakdowns, in which Air Bridge traffic to Asia has been re-classified as European traffic, as it transits the airline’s Moscow hub. This re-classification had a similar impact on Schiphol’s European traffic, which is shown as 61.5% up on 2010.

These anomalies will disappear in the 2012 analysis; in the meantime, without these adjustments, Asian traffic would be just 0.8% down, and European traffic would be 6.5% down on the previous year.

Well over half (57%) of all cargo through Schiphol is now carried on the flights of its 23 freighter operators, and growth in this traffic continues to outstrip growth in cargo carried on passenger flights (up 7.7% year-on-year, compared to 2%).

Meanwhile the airport has acquired a number of new airline services in recent months, including Saudi Arabian Airlines, Etihad and Centurion freighter services. Two carriers – Qatar Airways and Air Bridge – have begun freighter services to Chicago, and China Southern has started freighter flights to Guangzhou.

Concludes Osinga: “Whatever is happening in the air cargo industry as a whole, our various initiatives to make Schiphol the cargo airport of choice in Europe are clearly having a positive effect, and should enable us to continue performing strongly even while the market as a whole remains difficult.”