Is this Qatar Airways flight between Maastricht and Liège world’s shortest cargo flight ?

© Ivan Coninx

One of the world’s shortest cargo flights must be Qatar Airways flight QR8173 between Maastricht Airport, The Netherlands and Liège Airport, Belgium. Before last week, the flight was scheduled to depart Doha, Qatar and land in Belgium before continuing to Mexico City. But last week, a new client made the airline to land at Maastricht first before making the short 38 km hop to Liège.

Belgian newspaper group Sudpresse says that the Qatari airline is bothered by the situation: “A new Dutch client has requested us to have his cargo delivered at Maastricht Airport, for personal reasons. The runway at Maastricht, however, isn’t long enough to take off and continue to Mexico. Hence, we decided to reposition the aircraft to Liège – with a longer runway – before continuing to Mexico.

Next week (10 November), another 38 km hop has been scheduled, much to the frustration of climate activists. Liège City green councillor Pierre Eyben told Sudpresse that the short flight must be a world record, questioning the carbon footprint that the flight is leaving.

Qatar Airways added that it is considering a direct flight between Doha and Maastricht.

Bart Noëth: Since 1996, I have been working in the Belgian airline industry, from a weekend job as a cabin aircraft cleaner to a flight attendant. After the demise of Sabena - in 2001, I created a website called, originally a meeting place for plane spotters and aviation freaks. Since 2017, the website changed into a professional news site. Next to aviation, I love to travel, wine and dine and enjoy my time off(-line) with my friends and family. My favourite football squad is KV Mechelen, I am an Ironman 70.3 finisher and my ambition is to complete a full Ironman.

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  • Sabena used to fly Kinshasa DRC to Brazzaville Congo with a B747 back in the day.

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