Over 1.2 million passengers in July at Brussels Airport, double the figure of June

Brussels Airport - General

Air freight continues to grow 

In July, Brussels Airport welcomed 1,268,257 passengers, i.e. 46% of the passenger numbers for July 2019, and over double the figure for July 2020. The start of the summer holidays has clearly had a positive impact, despite the ban on organised travel to tourist hotspots such as Tunisia and Egypt. Air freight continues its strong growth, with volumes up 32% year on year.  

Passenger traffic: down by 54% 

In July, 1,268,257 passengers travelled through Brussels Airport, a decrease of 54% compared to July 2019. This first month of the summer holidays saw continuous improvement from week to week, from 43% of the passenger numbers recorded in July 2019 for the first week of July, to 50% in the final week of July. Brussels Airport also recorded more departing than arriving passengers over the course of the month, as is always the case during this period.  

Holiday flights, in particular within Europe, naturally impacted positively on the figures, as did trips to visit family and friends or to a holiday home. The top 10 destination countries in July were respectively Spain, Greece, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, Portugal, France, Germany, the US and Switzerland. Greece (79% of the numbers for 2019) and Morocco (114% of the numbers for 2019) were especially popular destinations. 

However, there is also a negative effect from important holiday destinations to which organised travels are currently not permitted – such as Egypt, Tunisia, Cape Verde and the Caribbean.  

Cargo: total volumes up 34% 

Freight volumes continued to see impressive growth in July (+34% year on year), thanks to the increased demand for air freight capacity, a trend which is set to continue over the coming months. The growth in air freight (+32%) is continuing across the three segments, i.e. full freighter (+26%), integrator services (+16%), but also on board passenger flights (+155%) because of the increase in the number of passenger flights. In this last segment, however, volumes remain 28% lower than for July 2019. 

Brussels Airport is once again seeing growth in the full cargo segment across almost all existing clients. New routes from Asia are a major contributor to this steady growth. Asia remains the most important region, followed by North America and Africa. 

The transport of Covid-19 vaccines to and from Brussels Airport is continuing, with over 210 million vaccines processed at the airport to date.   


The total number of flight movements fell by 40% in July 2021 compared to pre-pandemic times (2019). Brussels Airport recorded 13,631 movements (versus 22,599 in July 2019). The number of passenger flights fell by 48%. There were on average 122 passengers per flight, compared to 137 in July 2019. 

The number of cargo flights (full cargo & express services) is slightly higher in July 2021 compared to July 2020 (+7%). The number of flights operated by passenger aircraft used to carry freight only reduced slightly from month to month, due primarily to the resumption of regular passenger flights. In July, they still accounted for one-third of full cargo flights.