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Six cargo companies could leave Brussels Airport

© Belga
Most airlines have cancelled flights up until mid or end March. Credit: Belga
© Belga

Airlines specialising in freight transport are at risk of fines “throughout the day” and not only between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m. in the morning. Geert Keirens, the Director of Air Cargo Belgium indicated this yesterday (Wednesday).

Six of them are contemplating leaving Brussels Airport if this zero tolerance policy, concerning noise standards in the air above the capital, is actually applied by the Brussels region.

The Director of the business lobby for airfreight at Brussels Airport explained that air cargo companies are at more risk of being penalised, as their flights are noisier.

Six companies currently fly Boeing 747s, or Jumbos, which do not satisfy the noise standards. These include Kalitta Air, Singapore Airlines, Global Airlift and Asiana. Two such companies, Saudia Cargo and Yangtze River Express (China), announced last week that they wished to leave Brussels Airport.

Mr Keirens notes, “The risk of fines is so high that it is almost impossible for these companies to stay here. They have two months more respite but if the fines are collected, their operations here will not be viable.”

He goes on,“The current situation is a catastrophe, for employers and employees in the sector. We are making every effort for politicians to find a solution. This is the only means to save the airport’s activities in this sphere.

Air Cargo Belgium, says that 3,500 jobs are directly, and indeed indirectly, under threat.

The Brussels region announced on Tuesday evening that it would be applying a zero tolerance policy in relation to stricter noise standards in the capital from yesterday (Wednesday). Records of individual offences having been committed in this sphere have been drafted but, as we have alluded to earlier, the collection of fines has been suspended for two months.

The Brussels Times