In March Brussels Airport welcomed 1,425,683 passengers, up 1.4% on the same month last year. A comparison with 2011 is difficult as this year the spring half-term holidays fell in February whereas last year they fell in March. Moreover, the start of the Easter holidays fell in April. Despite the limited growth in passenger numbers recorded in March, the overall number of passengers recorded in the first quarter of the year grew by 3.8 %.
The slight growth of the number of O&D passengers (passengers who have Brussels Airport as their originating airport or final destination) is compensated by the strong increase of the number of transfer passengers. In March too, the strongest growth was recorded in the long-haul segment.
The number of aircraft movements continues to decrease, now with as much as 7.3%. This trend is explained by the use of larger aircraft (in particular by Brussels Airlines) and an improved load factor on passenger flights.
Despite the global downward trend in cargo volumes carried, Brussels Airport registered an increase of 6.1% on March 2011. Both freighter and belly cargo did better. Contrary to the general trend, similar growth was registered in February. The number of cargo flights increased by 6.6% whereas the cargo volume carried grew by 7.9%. Belly cargo on passenger aircraft recorded a growth of nearly 2% despite the decrease of the numbers of flights, which indicates an improved aircraft payload.