Nine-minute flights between Liège and Maastricht to be scrapped

Nine-minute flights between Liège and Maastricht to be scrapped
The flights, lasting under ten minutes, are operated with a Boeing 777, and require 1.5 tons of fuel. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cargo flights operated by Qatar Airways and lasting just under nine minutes will be scrapped as soon as a current contract expires, Wallonia's airports minister said.

After a meeting with airline representatives, minister Jean-Luc Crucke said Qatar Airlines had agreed to scrap the flights it operates between the Walloon city of Liège and Maastricht, in the Netherlands, cities which are roughly 38 kilometres apart.

"The airline has committed itself not to propose or organise new flights between Liège and Maastricht in the future," Crucke said on Thursday.

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The 9-minute flights are operated by Qatar Airways under a contract with an unidentified customer in the Netherlands, who absolutely wanted their cargo delivered in Maastricht.

A total of six nine-minute flights are comprised in the contract with the client and are operated with a Boeing 777, according to reports by De Standaard.

Under the new contract, the aircraft's route—which saw it depart Doha and make a stopover in Liège before heading to Mexico— had to be modified, because the runway in Maastricht was not large enough for the airplane to depart on a long-haul flight, meaning it had to return to Liège.

News that Qatar Airways was operating the flights, which require 1.5 tons of fuel, sparked calls for protest at Liège airport, but on the day of the demonstrators, only six protesters were seen on site.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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