Aviation article(s)
May 20, 2024

Vienna Airport saw a positive cargo development in the first quarter of 2024.


In the January-March period, the airport handled 68,058 tons of air freight, representing a 16% year-on-year increase.


"The air freight business at Vienna Airport is picking up again significantly," the airport said in a statement, noting that Q1 performance is already up compared to pre-pandemic levels.


"Compared to the pre-coronavirus year 2019, the current figures represent a growth of 1,417 tons or around 2%," it said.


Vienna Airport noted that the tonnage handled in the Pharma Handling Center in the first quarter also increased by 6.9% to a total of 886 tons.


"The positive figures are a primary result of the significant increases in belly cargo on passenger aircraft," it said.


Compared to the previous year, the gateway noted that the resurgence in air traffic has created additional cargo space, which is in high demand.


In the first quarter, the volume of belly cargo more than doubled, increasing by 52% to 27,131 tons.


Vienna Airport noted that this development "more than compensated" for the 12% decline in handling volumes for cargo-only aircraft to a total of 20,238 tons.


In addition, it added that to the one-off effects in the previous year, the main reason for the decline in the freighter-only sector was the transfer of cargo shipments to passenger aircraft.


Meanwhile, the volume of trucking increased by 15% year-on-year to 20,678 tons.


"Looking at imported and exported air freight, it reveals a balanced picture," the statement said, noting that both areas grew equally. 37,468 tons of imported freight (up 14%) contrasted with 30,572 tons (up 17%) that were shipped to global markets via Vienna in the first quarter.


Cause for optimism


"The development of air freight in the first quarter gives us cause for optimism. Demand for air freight is picking up noticeably, both for general cargo and for pharmaceutical shipments, which we handle in our own state-of-the-art pharmaceutical centre," said Michael Zach, head of handling services at Flughafen Wien AG.


"The flight schedule change has already added additional long-haul capacity to North America and Asia. We are prepared for further growth in order to strengthen and expand our role as an air cargo hub for Central and Eastern Europe with these and other connections to international markets," he added.

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