In September Brussels Airport handled 1,890,713 passengers, almost as many as in the busy month of August. Passenger numbers were up 11.9% on September last year. The first nine months of the year, passenger numbers grew by 10.9% compared to the same period of 2010 last year. This makes September the strongest growth month of 2011 so far, i.e. leaving aside the exceptional growth figures of April, which were distorted by the impact of last year’s ash cloud events.
Especially Brussels Airlines is registering remarkable growth, and long-haul in general is doing well. Traffic on holiday destinations continued to grow strongly through September, driven partly by the poor Belgian summer.
For the first time since April, the cargo volume shows positive growth (up 4.5%) again. Not only integrator traffic is doing well, but full freighter traffic for the first time this year shows positive growth compared to the corresponding months last year.
The number of movements too grew strongly in September (+4.5%) especially with intra-European business traffic resuming after the summer. Still, the number of movements has increased less than the number of passengers, which indicates better load factors and the use of on average larger aircraft than last year.
Thai Airways International has announced the start of a three weekly direct service from Brussels Airport to Bangkok as from 17 November. Also in November, Jetairfly will be adding Santo Domingo and Bangkok/Phuket to its network. On 2 October, Air France opened a new route to Nantes and Bordeaux with 11 weekly flights. 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.
End October will see the launch of a direct daily HST service between the Paris North station and Brussels Airport, operated by Thalys.