Russian company AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has signed a lease agreement to establish its European hub at Belgium’s Liege Airport.

The ten-year agreement is the extension of a memorandum of understanding signed between Liege Airport and Volga-Dnepr Group earlier this year during the Farnborough International Airshow 2018 in July.

As part of the agreement, AirBridgeCargo will lease 25,000m² of warehouse premises for efficient cargo operations at the airport.

The airline will pay €25m and also access 2,000m² of office space to guarantee smooth daily flight management.

“An agreement of this size comes with a number of benefits not only for ABC but also for our customers, who will get more frequency options and high level of service quality.”

Liege Airport CEO Luc Partoune said: “We welcomed the first flights in October 2017 because AirBridgeCargo had to reduce its presence in Amsterdam. Then we responded to their call for tenders launched earlier this year for the creation of their European hub.

“They liked the cargo DNA of Liege Airport. We had strong political support at both the federal and regional levels. AirBridgeCargo sees opportunities for expansion, can count on a quality workforce and rely on efficient Belgian customs.”

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By GlobalData

The arrangement will boost collaboration between the two companies to the next level of development and increase AirBridgeCargo’s cargo volumes to and from the airport.

AirBridgeCargo general director Sergey Lazarev said: “With the lease of dedicated warehouse facilities for the next ten years and ABC’s intention to increase the number of weekly flights to Liege up to 30 within the next one and a half years, AirBridgeCargo will be able to leverage growing market demand for special cargoes, especially e-commerce shipments.

“An agreement of this size comes with a number of benefits not only for ABC but also for our customers, who will get more frequency options and high level of service quality.”