Brussels Airport: 2 million passengers in July, just short of a record

August 9, 2013

With 2 million passengers, Brussels Airport falls just short of the absolute record of July 2012. After four months of positive passenger growth, July records a slightly negative growth of 1.1%. 

Whereas the number of local departing passengers increases by 0.6%, the overall negative growth is mainly explained by the 6.8% decline in the number of transfer passengers following Jet Airways’ decision to discontinue several flights. 

Growth in the short-haul segment is mainly driven by low-fare. Brussels Airlines on the other hand registers a slightly negative growth due to the rationalisation of its network. The number of holidaymakers hardly grows compared to last year. This can partly be explained by the warm weather in July and the competition from the regional airports in Belgium. Moreover there was one departure day less in July than in the holiday period last year.

The decrease in the long-haul segment is again explained by the discontinuation of several flights by Jet Airways and American in 2012. This is largely compensated by the additional intercontinental services operated by Brussels Airlines (Washington), United Airlines (B777 to Chicago) and Qatar Airways (two additional weekly flights to Doha).
 
The number of aircraft movements continues to decrease: in July we recorded 20,258 flights, down 1% on pcp. With nearly 80% the average load factor in July is very high.

Although cargo volumes carried in July show a slight increase on June, they are still -6.8% below the volumes registered last year. Since spring cargo traffic is steadily picking up.

Full-freighter traffic decreased by over 21%, making it the market segment that is suffering the most from the economic crisis in Europe.  As in previous months, integrator traffic (DHL) continues to show strong growth in July. The cargo volume grows by 20% whereas the number of related flights increases only by half. This is explained by the use of larger aircraft and improved load factors. Because several long haul passenger flights were discontinued and smaller passenger aircraft with lower cargo capacity are used, the volume of belly cargo dropped by nearly 10%.

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