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A record year for cargo and and recovered passenger figures

Ostend-Bruges Airport looks back on a successful 2021, a record year for cargo results and recovered passenger figures since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A record year for cargo and and improved passenger figures

Ostend-Bruges Airport (OST) ended 2021 with excellent cargo results and hopeful passenger figures. The traded freight volume increased in 2020 to 62,000 tonnes, the best result in 10 years. Passenger numbers also recovered nicely. The airport welcomed 221,000 passengers in 2020 and is looking forward to 2022 with great optimism.

Passenger numbers

The airport – once again – was hit hard during the first months of 2021. Due to the rising COVID-19 figures and a new lockdown, non-essential travel was prohibited until 19 April 2021. As a result, the first TUI fly flights to four Spanish destinations only left at the end of April 2021. This was clearly reflected in the figures. In the first half of 2021, we welcomed only 32,500 passengers.

From July 2021 onwards, more flights were scheduled and we connected our passengers with 13 of the 23 destinations. “This was also the beginning of a very nice recovery. In July, August, and September, we welcomed 114,000 passengers. 142 per cent more compared to the summer of 2020, but still 37 per cent  less than during the summer of 2019, when all 23 destinations were scheduled,” said CEO, Eric Dumas.

The recovery also continued after the summer. In November, the airport even received four per cent more passengers than before the COVID-19 crisis erupted.

On an annual basis, the airport closed with 221,000 passengers. “A very nice and hopeful result”, commented Dumas. “Despite the fact that only 13 of the 23 destinations were served this year, we were able to limit the loss of passengers. If the recovery continues like this, in 2022 we will be close to the result of our record year 2019.”

In 2022, TUI fly will again fly to all 23 destinations from Ostend. This means that, in addition to Spanish and Greek destinations, travellers can also choose destinations in Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, and Bulgaria.

96 per cent on time performance

In 2021, the airport can also present excellent punctuality figures. No less than 96 per cent of all flights departed on time. “Travelling via a regional airport has only advantages. Not only do you travel relaxed and in a safe environment, your flight almost always departs on time,” added Dumas.

Cargo

For the second year in a row, the cargo transport via Ostend-Bruges Airport has recorded a strong result. The handled volume rose by 17.8 per cent to 62,000 tonnes. This is the best result since 2011.

Apart from the airport’s main customer EgyptAir, also Qatar Airways carried out many flights to Ostend. Since May 2021, the airport is also included in the Qatar Airways route network. Furthermore, the airport remains very attractive for humanitarian missions and smaller cargo flights with, among others, car parts on board.

In addition to the regular carriers, our airport also welcomed temporary customers such as SilkWay West Airlines, Etihad Cargo, Mesk Air, and Air Belgium.

“This excellent result is the result of the hard work and dedication of everyone at our airport. We will also continue to invest in the cargo segment in the years to come,” concluded Dumas.

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