More than ever, there are great cargo opportunities for Ostend-Bruges International Airport. Since the end of 2019, Ostend airport has experienced a solid growth and that growth was well noticed by other cargo companies. For example, discussions are currently underway with various Chinese cargo airlines and logistics companies.
Initially, regular clients such as Egyptair, that already flew to Ostend, raised the number of flights. During the Coronavirus pandemic, the growth accelerated. Many airlines including Qatar Airways and Magma found their way to Ostend airport. This resulted in significant growth in the period from March to June. But even when the global demand for cargo gradually declined again, the amount of handled cargo kept increasing.
The cargo volume increased with 150.7% compared to the same period last year. This has already exceeded the 2019 annual figure and there are still four months to go this year.
The Hongyuan Group started a series of test flights at Ostend airport in early August. At the end of these successful test flights, the average number of flights increased from 3 to 8 flights per week in September 2020. In August, Hongyuan accounted for nearly 15% of the cargo traded.
“We as an airport are very pleased with the cargo and logistic developments in Ostend. That is why we have entered an alliance with the Versluys group to expand and modernise our infrastructure. It is clear that the Chinese market and its stakeholders have discovered the possibilities in Ostend, especially with the proximity of the two seaports Ostend and Zeebrugge. We are grateful for the Chinese interest and in particular Mukden Logistics who today will officially complete their partnership with the airport. Flanders Distribution Country will not disappoint them,” says Marcel Buelens, CEO Airports Antwerp and Ostend-Bruges.
Arrival of new cargo airlines
The number of airlines operating at Ostend-Bruges Airport has expanded in recent months. The new carriers include Qatar Airways, Magma and Hongyuan. Egyptair has increased the number of flights to Ostend and also makes a fuel stop for their flights to the United States in Ostend. In addition, Strike Aviation and Kalitta Air will continue to use Ostend.
After Hongyuan raised their flights after a successful test phase, the logistics holding company Mukden Logistics today signed an agreement with the Ostend-Bruges International Airport. Mukden includes Yugo BV, Clearengo and some other partners in Zeebrugge. Yugo BV is the most used trade and logistics company for handling Chinese cargo in the port of Zeebrugge.
“Mukden Logistics chooses Ostend-Bruges Airport as a gateway for Chinese export companies to mainland Europe. Thanks to its central location, Ostend-Bruges airport has better distribution systems than the other airports. The airport is close to the port of Zeebrugge where Mukden Logistics will set up an intermodal platform that combines freight transport by sea and air,” said Qingzhen Yu, Managing Director of Mukden Logistics.