Brussels Airport records small growth in May in spite of Swissport strike

June 12, 2013

In May Brussels Airport welcomed 1,719,561 passengers, making it the third month in a row with positive growth after the slight dip in January and February. Passenger numbers were up 0.7% in May in spite of the strike at Swissport, which lasted four days and caused several flights to be cancelled or diverted while other passengers chose to cancel their trip.

The number of originating departing passengers was up 2.1%, whereas the number of transfer passengers recorded a slight decrease. The latter is attributed to the reduced activity of Jet Airways. Intra-European traffic, and in particular the leisure and low fare segments, did well. Undoubtedly the unpleasant weather of the past few months has contributed to the growth in leisure traffic to sunnier destinations. The long-haul segment continued to show slightly negative growth mainly due to the discontinuation of the part of the Jet Airways flights and the loss of American Airlines in 2012. However, this trend was largely countered by the fact that several carriers, including Brussels Airlines and Qatar Airways, extended their services.

Aircraft movements
In May the number of aircraft movements decreased by 3.1% despite the growth in passenger numbers. This is mainly attributed to the improved load factor of the capacity offered.

Cargo traffic recorded a negative growth of -12.8% compared to May 2012. The continued decline in full freighter traffic worldwide is translated in a 20,9% drop at Brussels Airport. As a large number of passenger flights left without belly cargo during the Swissport strike, this segment too records negative growth. This is partly compensated by the continued strong growth of the cargo volumes on integrator flights (+14%). This evolution is in line with that of previous months.  

A new announcement for the summer season of 2013 is the start of the new carrier Air Lituanica, which plans to operate a six weekly service to Vilnius. In June FlyGeorgia launched a two weekly service to Tbilisi. For the coming winter season, THAI has confirmed that it will up its frequency on Bangkok from 3 to 4 flights a week.

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