Strong growth in passenger numbers
In the last month of 2013, Brussels Airport recorded a 6.2% increase in passenger numbers, yet another a clear sign that aviation is recovering. In December Brussels Airport handled over 1.3 million passengers. Long-haul, intra-European scheduled services and low fare in particular contributed to this strong result.
“After an exceptional month of December and with a 0.9% increase in passenger numbers in 2013, Brussels Airport has achieved its best result since 2001. With this growth figure, Brussels Airport is even expected to outperform average growth rates at the major European airports”, explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company.
In 2013 Brussels Airport welcomed 19.133 million passengers against 18.971 million passengers in 2012. Growth was driven especially by the low fare segment and intra-European scheduled services. Intercontinental traffic recovered in the second half of 2013.
Decrease in the number of aircraft movements
In spite of increasing passenger numbers, the number of aircraft movements in 2013 remained fairly constant.
However, over the whole of 2013, passenger growth was coupled with a decrease in the number of aircraft movements. Brussels Airport recorded 216,678 flights, down 3.4% on 2012. In the span of one year, the average number of passengers per flight increased from 98 to 102, leading to an improved average payload factor of 72.1% against 70.9% in 2012.
Cargo: strong 4th quarter due to e-commerce, perishables and pharmaceuticals
Brussels Airport recorded a 9.4% growth in cargo volumes despite the discontinuation of several full-freighter services.
Over the whole of 2013, Brussels Airport handled 430,000 tonnes of cargo, down 6.4% on 2012. Where in the first half of the year Brucargo was hit heavily by the global decline in air cargo and the economic crisis in general, the past few months showed signs of strong recovery. In the fourth quarter of 2013, cargo traffic was up 6.8% on the corresponding period of 2012. The highest growth figures were achieved in the transport of e-commerce, perishables and pharmaceuticals. Cargo volumes carried by DHL have increased significantly due to the use of larger aircraft, an improved payload factor and the opening of new intercontinental routes.