© Tacna

Swiftly growing cargo hub Liege Airport has dismissed its chief executive following the discovery of “irregularities”.

The board met yesterday to discuss a report by Deloitte that apparently identifies some 40 “irregularities”, said to include “rigged public contracts, fictitious jobs and unjustified expense claims”.

The board decided to fire CEO Luc Partoune, and he has been replaced by deputy MD Frédéric Jacquet, on an interim basis, saying a recruitment procedure will be launched quickly.

The board stated: “The most important thing is to maintain the confidence of all employees and partners, who make up the airport of today and who believe in the airport of tomorrow. The social, economic and environmental challenges that await us are extremely important and must mobilise all energies.”

One source who worked at the airport said he had found the lack of transparency in the airport’s decision-making processes difficult.

“It’s very hard to see how they make decisions, there are always underlying politics, he said.”

The airport is keen to “move on” and said its interim CEO had strong managerial experience. Mr Jacquet said: “I thank the board of directors for their trust. Liege Airport is a fantastic company, with many talents, with exciting development prospects.

“The challenges are not lacking: Fedex, Cainiao, the single licence, the transport of vaccines, the satisfaction of our customers and the challenges linked to growth. My arrival in no way changes our ambitions, at the commercial, social or environmental level. ”

Last year Liege saw a 24% rise in volumes, year on year, as its cargo department continued to attract freighter operators.

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