Slovakian cargo carrier Air Cargo Global has decided to leave Brussels Airport amidst the stringent noise regulations of the Brussels region, press agency Belga announced today.
Air Cargo Global, an all-cargo carrier operates since 2013. The airline having its headquarter in Bratislava (Slovakia) operates on charter basis with the production freighter B-747-400 F and converted Boeing 747-400 SF.
2 days ago (9 May 2017) Air Cargo Global took off runway 07L for a flight towards Hong Kong via Turkmenbashi, it now appears to be the very last flight from Brussels Airport.
The airline will now operate from Prague and Amsterdam.
6 months ago, Arnaud Feist, the Brussels Airport CEO already warned that the airport will lose 25% of its freight activity with the end of tolerances on noise standards in Brussels.
Brussels Airlines press release
After the departure of Yangtze River Express in February this year, full-freigher Air Cargo Global is stopping all its activities at Brussels Airport because of the Brussels’ noise fines. Magma Aviation too has indicated that it will leave Brussels Airport if the uncertainty is not removed in the next few weeks.
Brussels Airport has received the written confirmation that a second cargo airline is leaving Brussels Airport as a result of the noise fines imposed by the Brussels Capital Region. A third cargo carrier is also threatening to leave Belgium if the Brussels’ operation restrictions are maintained. Of the six full-freighter carriers that operated from Brussels Airport with B747 aircraft, now only four are left. And the risk is real that more carriers will leave.
After the departure of the Chinese full-freighter carrier Yangtze River Express in February of this year, Air Cargo Global has now also decided to leave Brussels Airport as a result of the legal insecurity and the financial risks caused by the decision of the Brussels Capital Region to drop the tolerance margin of the noise fines. Air Cargo Global will henceforth operate from Amsterdam and Prague.
Cargo carrier Magma Aviation too has informed Brussels Airport of its intention to leave the airport in the next few weeks if the operation restrictions imposed by Brussels continue to exist. The carrier has identified two alternative airports abroad from where to continue its activities.
In 2016, the volume of cargo carried by Yangtze River Express and Air Cargo Global amounted to nearly 20,000 tonnes which represents about 12% of the total cargo volume handled at Brussels Airport. This means that many jobs will inevitably be lost in Belgium in favour of foreign airports.
“The need for a stable legal framework and a permanent solution is more urgent than ever. Just like we argued at the end of April, the decision by the Brussels government to postpone the actual collection of the fines is no soluton. This decision may have been made with good intentions, it actually creates a period of uncertainty of one and a half to two years. The carriers make their decision based on the tickets they receive today, not on the basis of the fines the Brussels government makes known two years later. This is what makes airlines decide to relocate their operations abroad which for Belgium results in a loss of jobs and economic value. I call on all political parties concerned to halt the downward spiral that destroys the local and regional economic fabric in Belgium and reach a solution as soon as possible.”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.
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