The first half of 2020 will also be booked as a period of extremes for Maastricht Aachen Airport (MAA). There were no problems at the beginning of January. At the end of that month, things were quiet due to the Chinese New Year and just before air freight transport could start up again, large parts of the world went into lockdown. This situation is clearly visible in the freight figures of the past few months. Cargo Magazine spoke with Jos Roeven, CEO of this airport in Limburg.
In the months of January, February, and March we see a substantial decrease in freight volume when compared to last year,” says Mr Roeven. “First the Chinese New Year, then the start of the coronacrisis and just before International Women’s Day on 8 March – the busiest period for flower transport – the Local Rule at Schiphol came into force. Airlines that had diverted to MAA due to slot issues were from one day to the next able to return to Schiphol. Don’t get me wrong: we’re in favour of more slots for cargo flights throughout the whole year. But just as the door abruptly reopened for cargo flights at Schiphol, we have suffered in terms of volume. We therefore hope that the government will assign a more prominent role to MAA and other independent airports in the Netherlands, instead of just focusing on airports under the umbrella of the Schiphol Group.
Read the full article in Cargo Magazine 2020 Summer online edition [here]
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