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Brussels Airport passenger traffic grows week-on-week but impact of attack remains

13 July 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, International Airport Review

Brussels Airport recorded 2 million passengers in June but passenger traffic is still feeling the impact of the terrorist attacks in March this year.

Brussels Airport

Passenger traffic at Brussels Airport in June this year was down 6.8 percent compared to the previous year. The airport has attributed this reduction to the impact of terrorist attacks on 22 March and by a national strike held on the 24 June. However, the number of passengers continues to grow each week.


In June, Brussels Airport welcomed 2,050,148 passengers, a decrease of 6.8 percent on June 2015. The decrease can be explained by various factors, in particular the effect of the attacks of 22 March and the cancellation of a number of flights due to the national strike on 24 June. Also, the first big holiday departure weekend this year occurred in early July instead of the end of June as it did last year.

A positive trend is noticeable for local departing passengers. Indeed, the decline in the number of local departing passengers has reduced (-9,5%) compared with the previous month (-12,8%) despite the large number of flight cancellations following the trade union action in June and the decline in the number of passengers to destinations such as Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey due to tensions in these countries.

As in April and May, the number of transfer passengers has shown a strong increase: up 12.4 percent on June 2015, primarily due to Brussels Airlines. This positive development proves once again that international passengers remain confident in Brussels Airport as a transfer airport.


The total volume of cargo at the airport has experienced negative growth of 6.8 percent compared with June 2015. This decrease is mainly due to the cancellation of several flights following the Brucargo blockage on 24 June.

The cargo volume carried on full-freighter flights decreased by 13.4 percent compared with June 2015. Besides the trade union action, this decrease is due to a combination of factors: KF Aerospace, which started its operations at Brussels Airport in 2015, has ceased operations, Yangtze River Express has transferred part of its activities to Schiphol and Saudia Cargo has gradually reduced its operations at Brussels Airport. On the other hand, Ethiopian Cargo’s resumption of activities in late March and the arrival of Etihad Cargo in early June have had a very positive effect on volumes.

Integrator traffic has increased by 5.4 percent, thanks to the growing importance of e-commerce. Belly cargo declined by 16.6 percent compared with June 2015. This decrease can be explained by the trade union action on 24 June and the departure of Jet Airways in March 2016.


The number of movements decreased by 6 percent compared with June 2015. In early June, the passenger flight schedule did not yet allow full capacity. The normal flight schedule was not resumed until 27 June. The seat occupancy rate remains unchanged with an average of 115 passengers per flight.

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