Leipzig/Halle sees strong growth in cargo operations

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Leipzig/Halle Airport is increasingly becoming a competitor as a cargo hub to Frankfurt International as the former registers double-digit growth while the latter faces stagnation in the face of a night flight ban.

Freight volume at Leipzig/Halle grew nearly 15% year-on-year to around 691,000t between January and November. The total cargo volume for 2011 is expected to be "well above 700,000t", Mitteldeutsche Airport Holding said.

Leipzig/Halle handled around 663,000t of freight last year.

Frankfurt remains Germany's main cargo hub by a large margin after it registered a volume of 1.7 million tonnes between January and September 2011, putting Leipzig/Halle firmly second place.

However, Frankfurt Airport's cumulated cargo figures show a 2.5% decline for the current year. The freight volume for November 2011 was down 10.2% over the same month last year.

In October, a regional court in Kassel banned all night flights from Frankfurt Airport in response to the opening of the landing-only runway 25R/07L. A final ruling on the issue is expected next year.

Meanwhile, cargo operations are expanding at Leipzig/Halle. AeroLogic, the locally-based 50/50 joint venture between Lufthansa Cargo and DHL Express, took delivery of the last of its eight ordered Boeing 777-200Fs last month.

DHL is building a 15,000m² (162,000ft²) multi-user distribution centre at the hub, which is to become operational in May 2012.