247 horses flown from Liege Airport to Tokyo for the Olympics27/08/2021

Belgium had been waiting 45 years for a medal in one of the equestrian disciplines on the Olympic programme. Eventually it happened at the recent Tokyo Olympics thanks to Pieter Devos, Jérôme Guéry and Gregory Wathelet who offered the nation a fantastic bronze medal in the team jumping event.

This superb performance of the Belgian team hides another one: almost a third of the 90 horses that took part in the various jumping competitions in Tokyo were actually bred in Belgium! As a matter of fact, Belgium is considered an international reference, if not THE international reference in the equestrian world!

But that's not all: another world reference is the famous "Horse Inn" located at Liege airport! On the occasion of the Tokyo Olympic Games, no less than 247 horses transited through the number one Belgian cargo airport and were flown by Emirates SkyCargo to Tokyo. More details here and here.

So, no wonder Liège Airport (LGG) received the award for the “Best Cargo Hub of the Year” in 2020. Horses and other live animals are in fact only one of the airport's specialised niche markets among others, such as e-commerce and express parcels, perishable and fresh produce, pharmaceuticals and healthcare products. 

As far as South Africa is concerned, Liege Airport offers eight direct flights per week to Johannesburg: 1 Magma, 3 Qatar Airways and 4 Ethiopian Airlines. Those are all direct flights, with no change of airplanes, no unloading and reloading the cargo. Additionally, South Africa is also connected to LGG by Astral Aviation via Nairobi.