With a total of one and a half million passengers, Brussels Airport has achieved strong growth again during the month of March: an 8.3% increase on last year. In terms of passenger traffic, the growth is mainly driven by interest in the low-cost segment, whilst the growth in freight transport is mainly due to a dramatic increase in demand for integrator transport. The start of the new summer season brings many new passenger destinations.
The number of passengers grew by 8.3% in March, to a total of 1,565,000. There were a total of 3,972,000 passengers in the first quarter, accounting for growth of 6%.
The biggest growth during March is thanks to the low-cost segment, but activity by full-service airlines on intra-European routes has also been successful. Holiday traffic has seen a minor decrease, which can be attributed to the timing of the Easter holidays, which do not start until April, unlike in 2013. There is decreased interest in Egypt as a holiday destination, with other sunny destinations becoming more popular. Long-haul transport also fell slightly during March, again due to the shift of the Easter holidays.
The 18,079 flights in March represent an increase of 4.7%. There were 48,900 flights in total during the first quarter, an increase of 1.6% compared to last year. Passenger numbers and freight volumes are rising about four times as quickly as the number of flights. This evolution again points to the use of larger aircraft on average, compared with the same period in the previous year.
In total, 15 new destinations will be added to the passenger network in 2014. This brings the total number of passenger destinations up to 204. New destinations in the United States are Charlotte and Miami, while in Europe London Gatwick, Newcastle, Bari, Cagliari, Venice/Treviso, Montpellier, Seville, Santiago de Compostela, Gda?sk, Krakow, Wroclaw, Thessaloniki and Split have been added. The airlines expanding their service at Brussels Airport the most this year are Brussels Airlines, easyJet, Ryanair and Vueling.
The cargo volume transported in March amounts to 40,481 tonnes. An overall increase of 5.8% confirms the trend seen over recent months. In the first quarter, Brucargo has handled 109,000 tonnes, a growth of 6.6%. This revival is underpinned by the increasing success of e-commerce, which offers great growth opportunities for integrator traffic in particular. Freight transport on board long-haul passenger aircraft is also on the rise. Freight-only traffic is recovering slowly, but is still down on last year.