Germany’s Leipzig/Halle airport (LEJ) has a clear strategic plan to increase its cargo footprint, with a €500m investment package for expansion that includes a second Cargo City.
The hub, which saw a 7.2% rise in cargo volumes to just over 1.2m tonnes in 2018, already has integrator DHL as a major customer and the freighter operator has its own large-scale expansion plans at Leipzig/Halle.
But DHL is not alone in seeing the Germany hub’s cargo potential. In June this year, the airport’s state owners, Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG (MFAG), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Russia’s Volga-Dnepr Group to “boost cargo infrastructure development” and establish LEJ as a “freight multimodal hub for scheduled and charter operations” for the group.
The pace of change at Leipzig/Halle has quickened with the arrival in October 2018 of Götz Ahmelmann as MFAG chief executive, joining from Germany’s now defunct low-cost carrier Air Berlin.
Of the planned €500m expansion, Ahmelmann says: “That is by far the largest investment programme at LEJ since the 1990s. It is a strong signal into the market: We are striving for more.
“We have two major projects. First of all, the expansion of the already existing DHL hub. Secondly, we have decided to build not less than a completely new cargo city in the north of the airport with new aprons, new hangars, office space etc.
“The projects will be completed over the next years according to our positive market development.”