In March Brussels Airport handled 1,445,987 passengers, up 1.4% on the corresponding month in 2012. The leisure segment in particular recorded a strong growth of 8%. In spite of the economic crisis, the Belgian passenger decided to escape from the winter weather to classical top destinations including the Canary Islands, Turkey and Morocco. What is noticeable is that growth in the leisure segment started very early in the month, about four weeks before the start of the Easter holidays. In the low-fare segment the upward trend of the past few months continues.
In the long-haul segment growth was recorded on the routes to North-America (driven by Brussels Airlines’ services to New York JFK) and Asia due to the additional flights operated by Qatar Airways and Thai Airways International.
Despite the 1.4% growth in passenger numbers, the number of aircraft movements decreased by 6.9%. These figures confirm the trend of recent years and are explained by the use of larger passenger aircraft and a significantly improved average load factor.
In March Brucargo handled 38,314 tonnes of cargo, a decrease by 17.4% on the previous corresponding period. However it is expected that the negative growth of the past months will turn positive in the second half of 2013 due to the launch of several new operations. Finnair for example is currently setting up its second European hub at Brussels Airport. On 6 April, Finnair Cargo started operating flights from Brussels to New York, Chicago, Helsinki and Hong Kong and new destinations and frequencies are to be added later this year.