Emirates SkyCargo has landed at Maastricht Aachen Airport (MAA). Emirates flies daily from Los Angeles, Chicago or New York to Dubai with a stopover in Beek. Each time one third of the cargo on board (about 25 tons) coming from the US will be offloaded from the aircraft and just as much weight will be loaded for Dubai.
Emirates SkyCargo Boeing 777-200 Freighter
Ismail Durmaz of TCGI, the company that is responsible for the operation of the airport in Beek, is a satisfied man. In mid-2016, he expressed the ambition to make MAA a success story. “And look, in one year and a half I believe I have achieved more than all others in the forty years before.”
Large cargo airlines, like Silkways, Skygates and Emirates, found their way to MAA. And with Corendon Dutch Airlines and Ryanair, two prominent passenger airlines are also active on the Dutch airport. “But I still did not earn a penny here,” Durmaz says. “We reached break-even last year. The non-economic costs, including those for security, have now risen sharply from 3.2 to almost 5 million euros. This must be compensated by getting extra freight. Before I contracted Emirates, I had to fly up and down to Dubai fifteen times,” said Durmaz. Durmaz is hopeful to make a profit this year. The expectations on MAA even taste like more. “I am negotiating with three airports to roll out the same concept. One in the US, one in the Middle East and one in Europe”, he adds.
In terms of freight, MAA is now slowly approaching limits. The second cargo shed, which will be operational in October, has to offer room for expansion. “Especially when Emirates increased its frequency later this year to about 15 flights a week. This may include flights with flowers. “The new warehouse will create seventy extra jobs. “We have already grown considerably in terms of personnel”, says Airport Director Jos Roeven. “When I started ten months ago, we had about 70 employees. We are now around 250. “This is partly due to the large number of flights that tour operator Corendon Dutch Airlines will carry out. The number of holiday destinations has increased by three to eighteen. New in the schedule are Burgas (Bulgaria), Bodrum (Turkey) and Ohrid (Macedonia). This is reason for the Dutch airline to station a second Boeing 737-800 in Beek during high season, maybe even a third.” “More than a third of the holidays with departures from Maastricht have already been sold,” says Corendon director Steven van der Heijden.
In order to make flying out of MAA more comfortable, the interior of the departure hall will now be literally put on the shovel. Later, the facade will also get a face-lift, financed with money from the operator TCGI and the province of Limburg. Because the free parking in the high season threatens to become a bottleneck, the airport management is looking for additional parking in the area. The airport looking at the possibility to use shuttle buses.
Source: FRANS DREISSEN, De Limburger