LONDON – Brussels, Charleroi Airport (CRL)–based airline Air Belgium (KF) will expand its operations on its cargo sector with four A330-200F aircraft.

During last summer, airline officials announced thoughts about diversification of operations as well as the opportunities of freight sector. Finally, the Belgian carrier announced the addition of four (4) freighter aircraft to its fleet, the first two will join the fleet from next March.

At the begging, KF will operate four A330-200F from Qatar Airways (QR), which they will be based on Liège Airport (LGG). At the same time KF will remain to provide passenger flight to the French West Indies from its base on Brussels – Charleroi Airport (CRL). 

Air Belgium OO-ABB Airbus A340-343. Photo: Tony Bordelais/Airways

Comments from Air Belgium CEO

CEO of KF, Niky Terzakis, stated that, “In such an uncertain period, this is good news for the airline. We are delighted to be able to begin this diversification into the commercial and cargo sector, which my team and I know well.”

Terzakis added that, the move would complement KF’s existing passenger business, which has been severely impacted by the current travel restrictions. “This demonstrates once again the resilience and flexibility of our airline’s development potential. As well as the ever-growing attractiveness of Liege Airport.” 

Niky Terzakis has an extended experience on air freight sector, as previously he managed the Belgian cargo airline TNT Airways out of Liege Airport, while he is also responsible for relocation of Dutch TNT’s activities to LGG.   

Prior to this move towards cargo operations, the Belgian carrier (KF) operated a fleet of four (4) Airbus A340-300 aircraft, mostly focused on long haul operations both for business and leisure travellers. Most routes are connecting county’s capital and Pointe-à-Pitre – Fort-de-France in the French West Indies. 

Air Belgium OO-ABE Airbus A340-343. Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways

Liege Airport (LGG) Is Key for KF’s Success on Cargo Flights 

Liege Airport (LGG) has been described as “The most flexible cargo airport at the heart of Europe”. Actually, LGG is one of the few airports in Europe which has proved successful during the CoviD-19 global pandemic.

In particular, LGG faced a 24% increase in cargo, going from 902,480 metric tons in 2019 to 1,120,643 metric tons in 2020. Its location plays key role, as it is in the middle of the route between Amsterdam-Paris-Frankfurt, when at the same time is only a day’s drive from the majority of major European cities.

Furthermore, LGG is responsible for 73% of all European air cargo while its focus on air freight operations can provide both prices and facilities which larger airports can not meet.  

Featured image: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways