In August Brussels Airport handled 1,902,126 passengers. The continuing growth in passenger numbers (6.7% in August) was driven mainly by intra-European traffic (+8.9%). Despite the strong underlying growth owing to the opening of new routes and the use of on average larger airplanes, long-haul growth in August did not exceed 3.5%. Although hurricane Irene caused airlines to cancel several flights to the American east coast, transfer and transit traffic recorded a 25.1% increase.
Despite the strong passenger figures, the cargo volume continued to decrease in August. The 3% drop reflects the worldwide decline in cargo volumes carried on board of full-freighters. The export from Asia in particular decreased significantly. Integrator traffic and cargo carried on board of passenger aircraft continue to register positive growth.
In August Brussels Airport registered 20,000 aircraft movements, up 5% on the same month last year. As usual in the summer months, growth in passenger numbers is slightly higher than the growth in the number of movements. This is explained by the use of on average larger aircraft and higher load factors.
Brussels Airlnes launched a twice weekly service to Bamako (via Accra), their 21st destination in Africa. Jetairfly announces the start of weekly services to Santo Domingo and Bangkok/Phuket as of November. Thai Airways International has announced the start of a three weekly direct service from Brussels Airport to Bangkok likewise as from November. Air Arabia is to up the frequency of its service to Nador, Fez and Casablanca from 3 to 8 flights a week and adds Tangier as a new destination to its network in the winter season. Air France plans to open a new route to Nantes and Bordeaux with 11 weekly flights as from 2 October. OLT is to reopen its route from Brussels to Bremen, with two daily flights.
Korean Air has added a fifth weekly cargo flight to Seoul, and aims to increase the frequency to nine flights a week. Singapore Airlines Cargo and Saudi Arabian Airlines too have announced the expansion of their full-cargo operations.
The start of the winter season will also see the launch of a direct daily HST service between the North station in Paris and Brussels Airport, operated by Thalys.