For the start of the holiday, Brussels Airport is expecting around 36,000 passengers this Friday, 21,000 of which departing passengers. During the entire holiday period we are expecting 527,000 passengers. It may not be as busy as it was before the Covid crisis, but there will still be a merry bustle in the airport terminal which once again is being decked out with magical Christmas cheer. Popular destinations are the Canary Islands, Alicante and Malaga, and city-trip destinations such as Rome, Vienna and Barcelona, as well as intercontinental destinations such as New York and Dubai.
Between Friday 24 December and Sunday 9 January, Brussels Airport is expecting 527,000 passengers at the airport. That is more than double the 215,000 passengers that we hosted last Christmas during the height of the Covid crisis, and 58% of the number of passengers in the same holiday period in 2019 (988,000). The most popular destinations during the Christmas holidays are Spanish sun destinations such as the Canary Islands, Alicante and Malaga and city-trip destinations such as Rome, Vienna, Barcelona, Berlin and Lisbon. Popular long-distance flights are mainly those to New York and Dubai.
Some of the novelties this holiday period are the restart of winter sun flights to the Cape Verde Islands and Egypt, and the winter sport flights to Finland (Kittila and Kuusamo, operated by TUI fly) and for the first time to Bolzano (Sky Alps) and Innsbruck (Transavia). Flights to various exotic sun destinations have once again be resumed: Thai Airways International is once again flying to Asia and flights to, for example, Punta Cana and Cancun are also operating again. New distant sun destinations include Mauritius and Curaçao by Air Belgium and Havana on Cuba by TUI fly. Plenty of choice for anyone who wants to get away, whether to the snow or on the sun!
When the passengers arrive at the airport, they are instantly immersed in Christmas cheer: decorations have been put up everywhere, including more than 200 Christmas trees, thousands of Christmas baubles, and 5 kilometres of Christmas lighting. The eye-catchers are the two original Christmas trees under the departure board to which the entire airport community has contributed. And of course, Father Christmas is present on his sleigh and as always delighted to pose for photos (on 22, 23 and 24 December), just like the elves who you can meet all over the terminal (until the end of December). The Instawalls and the large illuminated Christmas globe in front of the departure hall are also a perfect setting for an original family photo.
Those looking for Christmas gifts will find, as usual, a wide range of perfumes, cosmetics, clothing, gifts, travel accessories and chocolates in the tax-free shops. New additions for the healthy and tasty appetite include Itsu, an Asian-inspired restaurant with a light cuisine in Pier B, and Dunkin Donuts, which has opened its doors in Pier A. There you will also find merchandising for the real fans! A new service for those with an empty phone battery while travelling are the Naki powerbanks. You can lend such a powerbank from one of the 8 kiosks at the airport and return it to a different kiosk, at or outside the airport (you can find all the locations on the Naki app). This way, you always stay connected to the people at home.
It is still very important to monitor the travel conditions for your destination up until your departure as some destinations require an additional test in addition to the vaccination certificate and the travel conditions continue to evolve. On the Brussels Airport website you will find a handy overview of the travel conditions and required documents per country via the Travel Map. You can check the time you should arrive at the airport for your specific flight online via https://www.brusselsairport.be/nl/passengers/slot-advice. Also remember to fill in the Passenger Locator Form online before returning to Belgium, you can even do this before your departure, and to keep your QR code at hand upon arrival at the airport.