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LUXEMBOURG, GD: January 20, 2017. Luxembourg Airport has ended 2016 with an 8.2 percent record-breaking increase in airfreight throughput of 821,000 tonnes.

CV LUX horsesThe airport said last year's growth exceeded the European average of 6.8 percent and put it in 6th place behind Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam, Heathrow, and Leipzig-Halle.

Expansion of the airport's cargo apron begins this month at a cost of €40 million for completion by mid-2018 with a possible extension to handle 16 747s simultaneously.

The increase in flights by Qatar Airways from six to 17 a week last helped the traffic figures – as did a rise in volumes in the second half of the year and a strong peak season in the fourth quarter up to the holiday period.

The airport reported an 8.0 percent growth in Q3; a 16 percent uptick in Q4 and a 27 percent increase in December. China volumes increased 13 percent for the 12 months.

As always, Cargolux remained the airport's largest customer with a volume share of 82 percent, or 675,000 tonnes, followed by Qatar Cargo with 5.4 percent, or 44,170 tonnes, Atlas Air/Panalpina with nearly 39,000 tonnes and China Airlines and Silk Way with 19,000 tonnes each.

Last year LuxairCargo invested in a new 'fast lane' ULD truck terminal and 3,000 sq.mt. area for outsize and heavy shipments that handled 70,000 tonnes of airfreight including helicopters, large aircraft engines and oil-drilling pipes.

Luxair's 'Ark' or veterinary facilities also handled close to 140,000 animals in 2016 including 3,457 pigs, 1,534 horses (above), 1,047 dogs, 65 swans, 34 cows, 12 zebras, 10 brown bears, nine tigers, six camels, four bulls and two lynx.

Also last year an MoU was signed with Eastern Air Logistics to create a Good Distribution Practice-certified trade lane between Luxembourg and Shanghai as Luxair Cargo and Cargolux's pharma traffic reached 30,000 tonnes by the end of 2016.

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