DHL eyes Liege as plan B
30 September 2004, BRUSSELS – International courier firm DHL could be lining up a plan B - if it fails to win the green light for its plans to expand at Brussels National Airport.
30 September 2004
BRUSSELS – International courier firm DHL could be lining up a plan B - if it fails to win the green light for its plans to expand at Brussels National Airport.
DHL has asked the management of Liege airport if it will make it a formal offer to allow it to extend its business there.
According to La Libre Belgique, members of the management committee made known on Tuesday that they would be willing to accommodate DHL's plans if they fell through at Zaventem airport.
The committee has already sent a letter to the company to say the airport would be willing to host its business.
Committee president, Jose Happart, stressed the benefits of Liege-Bierset airport, which is open 24 hours a day.
But the Walloon minister for airports, Andre Antoine, was more reserved, cautioning that the cost of transferring DHL business to Liege would be EUR 500 million.
The minister will present the idea on Thursday at a meeting of the Walloon Executive.
The relocation of DHL from Zaventem to Liege may be a solution to the ongoing stalemate over permission to increase the number of its night flights.
The company's expansion has so far been blocked by the Brussels and regional
authorities after protests by local residents near Zaventem who do not want noisy aircraft flying overhead at night.
A shift in business to Liege would also give a long overdue employment boost
to the depressed region.
Meanwhile in Brussels, the administration of Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is still waiting for DHL to clarify its plans on the replacement of its fleet.
The company said it was studying the demands of the Belgian government, which includes a shift from the current use of a noisier MD11 aircraft to a quieter Boeing 777 when it enters the market in five years time.
[Copyright Expatica 2004]
Subject: Belgian news