Brussels Airport sets new February record; more than 1.6 million passengers

© Facebook – Brussels Airport Fanpage

Brussels Airport received more than 1.6 million travellers in February 2018, an increase of 5.4% compared to the same month the previous year and a continuation of the growth in the last months of 2017. Cargo traffic at Brussels Airport has also increased. Indeed, flown and trucked cargo grew by 0.8% against the same month last year.


Brussels Airport welcomed 1,648,874 passengers in February. That is a growth of 5.4% compared to last February and confirms the growth already recorded in the previous year. Both the number of originating passengers (+ 2.6%) and, in particular, the number of transfer passengers (+ 10.4%) increased against the same month in 2017. The growth in transfer passenger volumes is mainly driven by Brussels Airlines.

This hefty growth in transfer passenger volumes demonstrates Brussels Airport’s increasing importance as a Star Alliance hub and as a transfer airport for Brussels Airlines and other members of this alliance.

The strongest growth was recorded by Brussels Airlines and in the long-haul segment. Long-haul traffic is growing among other things by virtue of a second daily flight from Emirates to Dubai, the restart of Delta Air Lines to Atlanta and the new Hainan Airlines flight to Shanghai.

Brussels Airport anticipates further growth in long-haul traffic from the end of March, with new Hainan Airlines flights to Shenzhen and Cathay Pacific flights to Hong Kong. The demand for direct connections between Asia and Europe is on the rise, partly due to the Chinese population’s growing interest in travel. With six new flights a week between Brussels and the Asian continent as of the end of March, the airport is playing a strong role in the promotion of tourism in our country. The new routes also provide Belgian business with direct connections to the heart of the so-called Pearl River Delta in China.


Cargo traffic at Brussels Airport grew slightly by 0.8%. Flown cargo decreased slightly by 3.0% compared to February last year, whilst trucked cargo volumes increased sharply by 13.8%.

As in January of this year, the decrease is greatest in the full-cargo segment (-18.4%). This full-cargo segment decrease is due to the fact that various cargo airlines decided to leave Brussels Airport or cut back the frequency of their flights owing to stricter Brussels’ noise standards. The decrease is partly compensated by a strong increase in belly cargo (+ 13.7%). As in previous months, this increase can be attributed to the launch of new flights in the past few months, such as by Hainan and Emirates for example.

Express cargo services remained relatively stable (-0.2%).

Trucked cargo rose sharply, by 13.8% against February 2017. This increase can be explained by a lack of capacity on board for certain destinations and by the fact that several destinations are not served directly from Brussels Airport, resulting in cargo having to be trucked to other airports.

Flight movements

The number of flight movements decreased slightly by 0.9% compared to February 2017. And passenger flight numbers even decreased by 2.3%. Coupled with an increase in passenger volumes, this represents a sharp 7.3% increase in the average number of passengers per flight, from 110 passengers in February 2017 to 118 passengers per flight in February 2018.



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