EASTERN EUROPE AIR CARGO SUPPLEMENT~ Skyport’s new owner unveils strategy and growth plans

Central European Handling (CEH), which purchased the air cargo terminal at Prague¡¯s Ruzyne International Airport last year, has unveiled its new strategy and growth plans for the facility.

The former Air Cargo Terminal, now re-named Skyport has a designed 100,000 tonnes annual capacity and handled 44,000 tonnes in 2007. In the fourth quarter of 2007, Prague airport posted 11 per cent growth over 2005, Slavik said. According to market analysts at Frost & Sullivan, the Eastern Europe market is set to show considerable growth in the next few years, based on the trend of the past few years.

Chairman of both CEH and Skyport, Kamil Slavik, said expansion plans for the terminal include a new agent building to be operational by 2010. Presently Asian carriers serving the Prague airport include China Airlines which operates a B747 freighter and Korean Air which operates an A330 five times a week. Other airlines operate offline with frequent road feeder service (RFS) and ad hoc charters, according to Slavik, who is a former CSA executive. The cargo terminal, which has an annual turnover of around CZK180 million (US$10.7 million), has an automatic RFS centre which serves customers.

CEH’s cargo terminal purchase
The terminal, a unit of state-run Czech Airlines (CSA), was sold to CEH following approval of the deal at CSA’s extraordinary general meeting in August 2007 and renamed Skyport. According to press reports, CSA received CZK763 million (US$45.3 million) for the sale.