Within Luxembourg’s high-end air cargo and logistics sector, the Luxair Group plays a central role developing and running the cargo centre. Given the importance of Luxembourg airport in this business, this makes them a major European player. They also operate Luxair Luxembourg Airlines, the Grand Duchy’s flag carrier passenger service
What is your vision for Luxembourg as a transport hub?
I am pretty sure that in the next 3 to 4 years, we will see a million tons being moved through Luxembourg airport. We have the location, the infrastructure and experienced teams in place to make this happen: the road feeder systems, trucking, freight forwarders, cargo handling, and so on. Luxair Group is central to this, with our 1,300 people serving industry leading firms such as China Airlines, Panalpina, Atlas Air and Qatar Airlines, as well Luxembourg’s own Cargolux.
What is unique about the airport for cargo operators?
We have unique, modern cargo infrastructure. Also, the runway to warehouse distance is the shortest in Europe, giving us capacity for extremely quick service, with a 747 able to turnaround in two hours. Public authorities (customs, police and so on) work closely with handling operators to keep things strict but simple. Plus our facilities are top rate, such as the recently built pharmaceutical/healthcare centre.
Please comment on your relationship with China Airlines.
Our Chinese partners are very reliable and this has been a positive relationship based on deep mutual trust. We have the capacity and desire to welcome more operators, and it would be good for us to have Chinese operators flying directly from the People’s Republic.
What makes Luxair’s passenger airline special?
The airline market is extremely challenging in Europe, but we have achieved double-digit growth over the last three years and expect more of the same. We keep revenues up by offering competitive prices for flights to international hubs, business capitals and holiday destinations. Luxembourg is an international business capital, so these links are vital for connections to clients and to help our multinational workforce keep in touch with home. We are also controlling costs by moving towards having a single airplane fleet.
You are also helping the country’s tourist industry.
Yes, and we are particularly gratified that many Chinese tourists are coming to visit, with the China Tourism Academy estimating that 160,000 visited the Grand Duchy last year. We serve major Schengen area hubs regularly, particularly Paris, Frankfurt, Munich and Vienna to enable passengers to make the short hop to Luxembourg. We expect more tourists will come because the Grand Duchy is a very attractive, historical country with excellent hotels and shops. Plus it is a very safe place to visit.