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Positive cargo development at Vienna Airport

The air freight business at Vienna Airport is picking up again significantly. In the first quarter of 2024, 68,058 tons of air freight were handled for import and export. This represents a year-on-year increase of 16 percent. Compared to the pre-coronavirus year 2019, the current figures represent a growth of 1,417 tons or around 2 percent. The tonnage handled in the Pharma Handling Center in the first quarter also increased by 6.9 percent to a total of 886 tons.

The positive figures are a primarily result of the significant increases in belly cargo on passenger aircraft. Compared to the previous year, 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 percent to 27,131 tons. This development more than compensated for the 12 percent decline in handling volumes for cargo-only aircraft to a total of 20,238 tons. In addition to 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.

The volume of trucking increased by 15 percent year-on-year to 20,678 tons. Looking at imported and exported air freight, it reveals a balanced picture. Both areas grew equally. 37,468 tons of imported freight (up 14 percent) contrasted with 30,572 tons (up 17 percent) that were shipped to global markets via Vienna in the first quarter.

“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 center. 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,” says Michael Zach, Head of Handling Services at Flughafen Wien AG.

About the Vienna Airport Cargo Hub

With its geographically well-situated location in Europe, Vienna Airport has established itself as an important global cargo hub for Central and Eastern Europe. Especially for intercontinental transports, Vienna Airport is serving leading cargo airlines. A 24-hour operational readiness offers fast turnaround times. For air cargo, 10 category F aircraft parking positions (Boeing 747-8, Antonov 124) are available in the close vicinity of the handling facilities. The airport is strongly established in the European network of Road Feeder Services. The most important consumer and economic centers in Central and Eastern Europe are reached within 24 or 48 hours. Flughafen Wien AG, the Vienna stock exchange listed operating company, is one of the largest employers in its region with more than 5,400 employees.

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