Liège airport, of which Fedex is the most important operator, learned “with surprise and without prior consultation” of the decision of the American carrier to reduce its staff in the Cité ardente by more than a third. “The good news, however, is that they are staying,” said the spokesperson for the airport, Christian Delcourt, to the Belga agency on Tuesday.
As part of the integration of the Dutch company TNT, acquired in 2016, Fedex decided that Liège would henceforth be the secondary hub of its air network for Central Europe, behind Roissy. With the consequence of the elimination of 671 jobs in Bierset.
The management of Liege Airport learned the news “with surprise”. In the coming days, she will meet with Fedex management “in order to better understand the motivations for this restructuring, to examine the consequences of this decision and its operational implications”.
The airport remains positive, however. The “good news” is that Fedex, the main employer and operator of Bierset with 40% of the tonnage, is not leaving the Liège airport, notes its spokesperson.
“TNT was an incumbent, from the start in 1998, and at the time operated 90% of the business. We helped it grow, but we also diversified. We were winners when they left Cologne , here we are losers, it sometimes goes in one direction and then in another “, relativizes Mr. Delcourt.
Another reason that allows Liege Airport to avoid dramatizing is its record results over the past year, with a 24% increase in volumes handled. “Given the positive trend in activity and thanks to our other clients, development prospects remain significant.” Even if these prospects should be slowed down for some time, the space left by Fedex will make it possible to further strengthen diversification by welcoming another operator.
The Minister of Employment, Pierre-Yves Dermagne, announced at the end of the afternoon that he will receive the representatives of the workers of Fedex “these coming hours”, as well as the representatives of the employers this Wednesday.