Brussels Airport welcomed 1.7 million passengers in May, again best monthly result since start of Covid crisis More than 65,000 tonnes of goods handled
In May Brussels Airport welcomed 1.7 million passengers, a rise of 319% compared to May 2021 and 74% of the number of passengers in May 2019 (before the Covid crisis). This is once again the best month result since the start of the crisis in March 2020. In terms of cargo volumes, there is a decline in the total volumes compared to last year (-9%), but an increase of 12.5% in comparison with 2019.
Passenger traffic: an increase of 319%
More than 1,697,334 million passengers travelled via Brussels Airport in the month of May. Compared to May 2019, this implies a decline of 26%, but it is an increase of 319% compared to May 2021. This is once again the best month result since the start of the crisis in March 2020. Since the start of this year, the passenger numbers have increased month after month. The growth we saw in April continues, in the second half of the month of May the long Ascension weekend and the run-up to the long Whitsun weekend had a positive impact on the passenger figures.
The share of departing passengers is 13%, which is 8 percentage points lower than in 2019 due to the strong increase in local outgoing traffic and the decline in the number of transfers between European destinations.
The ten most popular countries in May were Spain, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Portugal, Greece, France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. For Turkey, the passenger figures are already higher than in 2019, and Spain, Italy and Greece can already show good results as well (+80% of 2019).
The ten most popular destinations in May were Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Lisbon, Malaga, Milan, Istanbul, London, Geneva and Frankfurt.
Cargo: decrease of the total volume by 9%
Cargo at Brussels Airport declined in May by 9 % compared to May 2021. The air freight volumes showed a slight decline of 4%. The full freighter segment showed a decline of 11% while cargo on board passenger aircraft rose by 57% due to the increase in the number of passenger flights. The share of cargo flights that were operated with passenger aircraft accounted for 34% of the full freighter flights.
In May, Air Belgium (in partnership with Hongyuan) started cargo flights with their first Boeing 747 and Virgin Atlantic operated the first cargo flights with an Airbus 321, they are making the transition from the deployment of passenger aircraft for cargo to operations with full freighters.
The express services saw a decline of 15% due to the weakening growth of the e-commerce market in Western Europe and the temporary shift of certain flights to other airports. In addition, the trucked volumes decreased by 25%.
This month, Asia is again the largest import and export region. Africa is the second import region and the third export region and noted a growth in both segments compared to last year. North America is the third import region and the second export region.
Up until till now, 1.3 billion COVIC-19 vaccines have been transported via Brussels Airport since the start of the worldwide vaccine transport in November 2020, which makes Brussels Airport the main European hub for vaccine transport.
In May 2022, the total number of flight movements rose by 134% compared to 2021, to 16,428 flight movements (compared to 21,055 in 2019). The number of passenger flights increased with 244% compared to 2021, which is 72% of the number of passenger flights in May 2019. The average number of passengers per flight was 129, compared to 125 passengers in 2019. The occupation level of the flights thus continues to increase.
The number of cargo flights decreased by 8% compared to 2021.