Volga-Dnepr Group (VDG) and Liege Airport (LA) have signed Memorandum of Understanding on reinforcement of their strategic cooperation on the set-up of regional hub in Liege airport. The cooperation has gone to the next quality level with support and contribution from Wallonian Government (WGov), which will advise the partners on the successful development of the project and cover talent acquisition among other issues.
The agreement serves as an extension of MoU which was signed last summer between LA and VDG and CargoLogicAir (VDG strategic partner) with the aim to strengthen positions of three companies at the European market through development of regional hub and enhancement of freighter capacity. The 30 weekly cargo flights operated by VDG or its strategic partners till the end of 2020 are to be shouldered by effective ground and cargo handling operations at Liege, with special focus on e-commerce and express shipments. The parties will mastermind solutions which are applicable to any type of aircraft – Boeing 737, Boeing 747 or Boeing 777.
Andrey Andreev, Vice President for Europe at AirBridgeCargo Airlines, stated: “We are on the threshold of our second-year cooperation with significant results and ambitious development plans. Not only will the first 12,500 sqm of warehousing premises, which will be operational by the end of this year, facilitate creation of up to 200 working places. But we are moving one step further in creating effective system of regional hubs network to meet the emerging demands of our customers worldwide”.
From Liege Airport side, Steven Verhasselt, VP Commercial, added: “From the very first discussions, it was clear that the cooperation between LGG and VDG was more than just an airline flying into an airport. VDG and LA are connected through Cargo DNA, even before they were connected by operations. That is now further developing into a great partnership. The vision, to create real cargo gateways, connecting global markets, supported by airlines, airport, ground handlers and logistics chain, offers the market the solutions it is looking for. The Liege Airport Cargo Community is welcoming the further expansion and the opportunities to connect to the project”.
The next steps for the establishment of a freighter base in LGG and jointly develop maintenance facilities underline the commitment from both parties to develop for the long term. As a next step, LA will draft the proposal on the airport location of a maintenance hangar in Liege, which will be primarily used as technical support station to guarantee line maintenance. In discussions with both Federal and Walloon Government, the support for the project was clear from the very start. This partnership will bring more jobs and more business opportunities to Belgium and to Wallonia, and further promote LGG as an aviation and logistics hub.