Passenger growth at Brussels airport continues
July 10th, 2017. \\ Business and Economy.

Brussels Airport welcomed more than 2.2 million passengers in June.

This constitutes 1.1% growth against the record year of 2015, and a new airport record for the month of June. Due to the departure of a number of cargo companies as a result of stricter Brussels noise standards, full-cargo transport dropped by 16% against 2015. Traffic figures for the month of May 2017 were compared to figures from Brussels Airport’s record year of 2015.

As a result of last year’s attacks, the 2016 figures are not representative, which means that any comparison would present a distorted picture. Passengers Some 2,223,932 passengers departed from or landed at Brussels Airport in June this year.

This represents a new airport record for the month of June and a 1.1% growth against the record year of 2015. The number of locally departing passengers declined by 1.4% in June this year. This can largely be attributed to the differing summer holiday start days. In 2015, the first weekend of the summer exodus fell in June (27-28th June), whilst in 2017 it fell in the month of July. The number of transfer passengers rose sharply, by 19.6% in comparison to June 2015.

This growth comes predominantly from Brussels Airlines short haul flights and Ryanair long haul flights. Long-haul traffic to and from Brussels Airport has also shown a positive development since 2015, with the addition of Brussels Airlines flights to Toronto and Mumbai and ANA to Tokyo. Qeshm Air launched a weekly flight to Tehran at the end of June, and Rwandair launched a flight from Kigali three times a week in July.

As of the winter season, the intercontinental network will be further expanded with three Hainan flights a week to Shanghai and a twice weekly Emirates flight to Dubai. Brussels Airport received a record number of passengers during the first half of the year.

Indeed, more than 11.5 million passengers travelled via Brussels Airport in total. This is a growth of 6.3% against the first half of 2015 and an outright record for the airport in the first six months of the year. The number of transfer passengers has risen particularly sharply, by 18.8% against the first half of 2015.

Cargo transport declined by 1.9% in June this year.

Whilst express services noted a strong growth of 11.7% against June 2015, both full-cargo transport and cargo on board passenger aircraft declined. Indeed, this June full-cargo transport fell by 16.0% compared with the same month in 2015. This was as a result of the departure of Yangtze River Express and Air Cargo Global due to stricter Brussels noise standards. Passenger aircraft cargo decreased by 5.1% against June 2015, largely due to the departure of Jet Airways in 2016.

The new Brussels Airlines route to Mumbai, however, partially compensates for this loss. In the first half of the year, cargo transport increased sharply against the same period in 2015.

The full-cargo segment in particular saw a sharp rise of 22.5%, whilst cargo on board passenger aircraft declined by -6.8% due to the departure of Jet Airways in 2016.

The number of flight movements fell by 3.7% compared with June 2015. This, coupled with an increase in passenger volume, has resulted in a significant rise in occupancy rates on passenger flights. In June of this year, there were an average of 119 passengers on board every flight compared to an average of 115 in June 2015.

Brussels Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, handling 21,8 million passengers and 495,000 tonnes of freight annually. Brussels Airport links the European capital with 238 destinations worldwide that are served by 78 different airlines. (figures 2016).

Brussels Airport caters for the specific needs of the business travellers, and also has the largest low-fare offer in Belgium.Brussels Airport is the second most important centre of economic growth in Belgium providing direct and indirect employment for 60,000 people.


Martin Banks is a highly experienced accredited journalist with many years experience of working with the EU institutions. He is an occasional contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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