Customer volumes at Birmingham Airport (BHX) last month exceeded 2019 levels for the first time.
In October this year 1,106,000 customers travelled through the Midlands transport hub compared to 1,101,000 in October 2019.
Tom Screen, aviation director for BHX, said: “Last month our customer numbers were 100.4% of what they were October 2019 – officially the first month we’ve surpassed pre-pandemic numbers, having been hovering in the high nineties for quite a while.
“It’s good to hit this milestone as we continue to recover from Covid. With more routes, more airlines and more based aircraft, it’s no surprise we’re seeing more customers.
“Meanwhile construction of our state-of-the-art new security hall is due to be complete by June 2024. This is part of £300m of upgrades to BHX planned in the coming decade. We’re on our way to becoming a bigger, better, greener airport for our customers.”
In 2019/20 BHX served more than 12m customers. Then Covid struck, reducing customers volumes by more than 90% to just 1m in 2020/21.
In 2021/22, with Covid still wreaking havoc, customer volumes rose slightly to 3m.
When the Government reopened the borders in March 2022, customers surged back. In 2022/23 BHX customer volumes totaled 10.5m.
This year, 2023/24, BHX expects to draw level or even exceed 2019/20 numbers.
Pegasus Airlines is launching a three-times-a-week route between Birmingham Airport (BHX) and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW)
Low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines is to start flying three times a week between Birmingham Airport (BHX) and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW), with one-way fares from Birmingham Airport starting at £39.99.
From December 21 Pegasus will offer the flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Pegasus serves more than 130 destinations in 49 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe from its SAW hub.
Nick Barton, CEO of BHX, said: “We are very pleased to welcome Pegasus Airlines into the BHX fold. Pegasus is a very impressive low-cost carrier whose commitment to sustainable long-term growth is matched by our own here at BHX.
“I have no doubt these new services to SAW will be very popular with sunseekers, pilgrims, business travellers and people going to see family both in Türkiye and across the vast array of destinations offered by Pegasus’s strong onwards network covering Asia, Europe and Africa.”
Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah (UAE), Doha (Qatar), Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada (Egypt), Beirut (Lebanon), Karachi (Pakistan), Tbilisi and Batumi (Georgia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Yerevan (Armenia), Baghdad, Erbil and Basra (Iraq), Tehran and Tabriz (Iran), Medina and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Almaty, Astana and Shymkent (Kazakhstan), Bishkek (Kyrgyzstan), Amman (Jordan), Bahrain and Kuwait are among the destinations served by Pegasus from its SAW hub.
In addition to its extensive international flight network, Pegasus connects guests to Türkiye’s top summer destinations such as Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, and Izmir.
Pegasus is one of the fastest-growing airlines post-pandemic having fully recovered its operating capacity and profitability during 2022. It is actively seeking to decarbonise its operations in line with its commitment to IATA’s Net Zero by 2050 pledge and global imperatives to protect the planet. Investing in fuel-efficient, new generation aircraft is a significant part of Pegasus’ sustainability strategy, which positions the airline as having one of the most modern fleets in Europe, with an average age of 4.6 years as of September 2023.
These ambitions are mirrored by BHX, which is aiming to have become a carbon net zero airport by 2033 by implementing low-carbon alternatives into its operation. A project is currently under way to install 12,000 solar panels across BHX’s northeast boundary. By May 2024 the green power this installation produces will cover 20% of BHX’s electricity requirement.
The summer holidays are about to kick off. Over the next two months, Brussels Airport is to welcome over 4.7 million passengers as they jet off to the 180 destinations scheduled for this summer. It’s going to be very busy, but all partners at Brussels Airport have joined forces to prepare for the rush and provide our passengers with a pleasant airport experience. And this summer, BRUce, the virtual personal assistant, will be at passengers’ side to give them updates about their flight and help them get ready to fly off to their destination.
Starting this Friday, Brussels Airport is expecting to welcome a large number of passengers eager to go on holiday and discover new places. Nearly 80,000 passengers (departing and arriving) are expected to pass through Brussels Airport on this first day of the holiday period, followed by an equally busy weekend with 71,000 and 77,000 passengers respectively on Saturday and Sunday. With the staggered holidays for Dutch- and French-speaking schools, Brussels Airport is also set for a second busy weekend of departures on 7, 8 and 9 July, with a total of 231,000 passengers passing through its gates. In total, over the whole of the summer holidays, Brussels Airport is expecting to welcome more than 4.7 million passengers, up 15% on the 2022 figures.
Heading for the beach, the mountains or the city streets? In Europe or on other continents? This summer, 58 airlines will be serving no fewer than 180 destinations directly from Brussels Airport. The most popular remain the classic summer destinations such as Spain and the Canary Islands, Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Tunisia, the Cape Verde Islands and Egypt. New destinations for the summer season include Shenzhen, Seville, Billund, Monastir, Oran, Bejaia, Constantine, Tlemcen and Toronto (from 1 August).
To cope with this huge influx, all the partners at Brussels Airport have been working together for months to organise and optimise passenger flows. This has seen us roll out several measures. For example, the capacity at border control in Connector has been increased with three new automated border control gates bringing the total to 12 gates, in addition to the border control booths manned by the Federal Police. These ABC-gates can be used by passengers with an EU passport and British nationals travelling outside the Schengen Area.
Additional staff have been laid on to inform and guide passengers through the terminal. Signage has also been added in certain areas, such as screening, with advice to passengers to help them prepare for the security checks and facilitate operations.
To make for a smooth summer, it is also important that passengers are well prepared and arrive in time at the airport, that they check in online and prepare their hand luggage in accordance with the regulations in force, for liquids in particular. And for all this and more, BRUce, the virtual personal assistant for passengers, will be the ideal travel companion. Once they have entered their flight number on the Brussels Airport website, passengers will receive, via Messenger or Whatsapp, all the updates and information they need about their flight, waiting times at screening, the boarding gate number and lots of travel tips.
And because holidays are also all about relaxing and having fun, and should start as soon as you set foot at Brussels Airport, the airport has put up summer decorations all over the terminal, complete with palm trees and deckchairs. A photo challenge is also being organised, with fantastic travel prizes up for grabs. Finally, as in previous years, Brussels Airport has teamed up with the Tomorrowland festival to offer several DJ sets on 24 and 31 July in the heart of the terminal, between the Connector and Pier A. Feel them vibes!
It’s going to be a great summer at Brussels Airport!