Everything is within easy reach in no time
The pineapple in your fruit salad, the fresh mint in your tea, the lobster on the menu. Most people think it is normal to find these things every day in the shops. But these and many other products would not be here without air transport. At the same time, the direct connections with more than two hundred destinations offer numerous opportunities to our Belgian companies to sell their products or to do business abroad.
Belgian chocolates within the four days in Japan
Belgian chocolates are world-famous and considered to be an exclusive delicacy in many countries. Consequently, Belgian delicacies have been conquering the world for years. Thus for example, the chocolates made by Leonidas, purveyor to the Royal Household, can be found in 1,300 shops in forty countries and five continents. But you don't just pop a chocolate into a little box on the plane. A chocolate is a temperature-sensitive product that requires refrigerated transport, from the factory, in the aircraft to the shop on the other side of the world.
Filip Van de Vyver, International Sales Director: “Because Leonidas only works with fresh fillings and one hundred percent cocoa butter, it is important that our products reach our points of sale as soon as possible and with as few intermediaries as possible. Because to ensure their quality, Leonidas never freezes its chocolates. That's why we use Brussels Airport. They guarantee direct flights, fast connections and the correct temperature in the loading area - 14 to 18 degrees. Smaller orders go with passenger flights. For large quantities we use cargo aircraft.”
“Leonidas has two types of outlets: shops at foreign airports and Leonidas shops worldwide. For the former, we arrange the transport ourselves. For the rest of the exports we engage logistics partners. Today, Japan is our biggest market outside Europe, with peak sales around St. Valentine's day. Forty percent of our annual production for Japan goes during that period. Thanks to our supply chain all our chocolates arrive on location within four days.”
Biggest chocolate shop in the world
For travellers still looking for a delicious and affordable gift at the last minute, the airport is a small paradise. Nowhere in the world is there more chocolate sold than at Brussels Airport. 815 tons of it are sold every year. That's 1.5 Kg every minute! In the Belgian Chocolate House travellers will find Belgian specialities from such names as Godiva, Neuhaus and Corné Port Royal.
Time is money - not only for freight, but also for people
A direct connection is important not only for transporting goods. For companies operating internationally, it is also important that the right people get to the right place at the right time. Dirk Pauwels, Director of Consumer Business at Huawei: “Huawei set up in business eight years ago in Belgium to serve the local market better and to develop new technologies in the R&D-headquarters. In that way, Huawei provides direct and indirect employment to s more than two hundred people.”
“For a global company, a good airport is obviously essential. I myself travel at least once a month. I visit customers, take part in the major international technology fairs, and regularly go back to the main office in China. Then again, foreign colleagues fly over here for customers’ projects. For a couple of months or just for one day. And then the accessibility of the airport plays a major role. That's why it's a real advantage that the train connections in Brussels Airport are so good now. So, our colleagues can just take the morning flight, instead of having to set off the evening before. Huge savings in time and money!”