In April Brussels Airport welcomed 1.6 million passengers, up 0.4%. Although we record a small growth, the number of O&D passengers dropped by a striking 4%. O&D stands for Origin & Destination traffic: passengers that have Brussels Airport as their originating or final destination airport. This decrease is compensated however by the strong growth in the number of transfer passengers: up 18% on the corresponding month last year. This double digit growth in the long-haul segment contrasts with the decrease in the number of passengers travelling within Europe. In April, intra-European was affected by the Easter holidays that fell in April, whereas last year they fell in March. Moreover, the economic situation in the early season had a noticeable impact on holiday bookings.
The number of aircraft movements dropped by 4.2%, driven mainly by the use of larger aircraft by Brussels Airlines and the impact of the Easter holidays resulting in a decrease of the number of business flights.
Cargo traffic continues to do well. The volume carried in April totalled to 38,779 tonnes, up 1.2%. Belly cargo on long-haul passenger flights recorded a strong growth of nearly 10%.
In April a number of important new routes were opened, including a sixth daily flight to Africa by Brussels Airlines, new services with Aer Lingus to Cork, easyJet to Toulouse, Aegean Airlines to Iraklion, Eastern Airways to Southampton, Belle Air to Pristina and Jetairfly to Ponta Delgada. Several other airlines increased their frequencies including Aeroflot, British Airways and Estonian Air. Hainan Airlines started a fifth weekly service to Beijing to up the frequency on this route to a daily flight as of July.