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BYLINE: Roger Turney
One can never have enough cargo carriers in Belgium, it seems. The euro state is nurturing the birth of no less than three fledgling cargo airlines. Apparently all are determined to grab a share of the same market.
The start-up to watch could be Cargo B Airlines, which expects to begin operations in October with two leased 747-200 freighters. The aircraft are owned by 3P Air Freighters, an investment arm of Belgian bank, Petercam. A third freighter is planned for April 2008.
Most noteworthy about Cargo B is that Rob Kuijpers, former CEO of DHL Worldwide Express, will head the opeation.
"We see this as a golden opportunity in the Belgian market, which is singularly lacking in maindeck capacity," said Kuijpers. "There is also limited widebodied belly space following the demise of national carrier Sabena, which has not been replaced even with the launch of SN Brussels Airlines, which also has a more limited network."
After departing DHL, Kuijpers was for nearly four years executive chairman of SN Brussels. He resigned in September 2005 over apparent disagreements over future strategy.
Kuijpers believes his time with DHL will serve him best in launching Cargo B. It''s not incidental, admits the former DHL executive, that the express operator will soon relocate its main European hub …