With 1,930,954 passengers handled, growth at Brussels Airport continues through August. This 1.5% increase in passenger numbers is in line with the average traffic growth recorded at other European airports this summer. Year-to-date passenger growth amounts to 2%. Whereas the last few months, growth was particularly driven by transfer traffic, O&D traffic (passengers who have Brussels Airport as their airport of origin or final destination) is catching up. Leisure traffic, low cost and long haul traffic in particular were doing well in August. Predictably, intra-European business traffic did less well during the holiday months.
The number of aircraft movements continues to decrease, in August even by as much as 4%. The trend seen in the past few months persists: due to a higher average load factor and the use of larger aircraft the economic impact of the airport is growing more strongly than the number of flights, which is currently even decreasing.
Cargo traffic dropped by 2.5% due to the strong decrease registered in the full-freighter segment. Belly cargo (cargo carried on board of passenger flights) and integrator traffic on the other hand both record positive growth. In spite of the negative growth, Brussels is doing better than the worldwide trend in the full-freighter segment and outperforms the results of most European airports.
Brussels Airlines is to launch two new destinations in November. The carrier will operate six flights a week to Edinburgh during the winter season and plans to increase the frequency on this route next summer. Moreover the airline will add Mombasa to its Africa network. This destination is operated in collaboration with tour operator Thomas Cook. As of February 2013, Qatar Airways will increase its frequency on the Brussels-Doha route from 5 weekly to daily. Thai Airways International too is upping its frequency to Bangkok from 3 to 4 weekly flights as of February and will be using a larger B777-300ER on this route as of early winter.
Brussels Airport regrets American Airlines’ decision to stop serving the New York JFK route as of this winter, especially since the carrier has been operating a daily service from Brussels for nearly 25 years. However, New York remains the best served intercontinental destination with flights operated by Brussels Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Jet Airways and United.