Brussels Airport continues its momentum with more than 2.26 million passengers in May (+2.8%)


In May 2018, Brussels Airport welcomed more than 2.26 million passengers, an increase of 2.8% compared to the same month last year. This new record confirms the excellent results recorded over the first four months of the year. Freight transport at Brussels Airport has increased sharply (+15.9%), thanks in particular to trucked freight, but also to belly cargo.


Last May, Brussels Airport welcomed 2,265,312 passengers, a growth of 2.8% on May 2017. This is a new record mainly due to the increase in the number of originating passengers (+3.9%).

The two-day strike at Brussels Airlines and the technical cancellations of part of the fleet (Superjet regional aircraft) unfortunately had a negative impact of more than 2% on Brussels Airport’s expected growth in May. Without these problems, growth would have reached about 5% for the month of May. The effects are particularly noticeable on the number of passengers in transit, which dropped by 7.7%.

The leisure flight segment grew by 10% in May, while long-haul flights increased by more than 20% due to the launch in recent months of new long-haul services to Africa and Asia. Other European airlines are growing strongly, partly due to the strike at Brussels Airlines.


Freight transport at Brussels Airport rose by 15.9% in May, the strongest growth recorded these past few months. Flown cargo increased sharply (+11.3%) compared to May of last year. This increase is evident in all segments, including the full-freighter segment. Indeed, after a decline that began twelve months ago due to stricter noise standards in the Brussels Region, the full-freighter segment is recovering slightly (+1.4%), with a particularly good performance from most carriers and from the new route to Latin America.

Belly cargo grew sharply (+30.1%), thanks to the new routes that have been launched in recent months in the long-haul segment.

Unlike in recent months, growth is mainly driven by imports (+ 15%. This is largely due to imports from Asia and Latin America (Latam flights). Exports are also increasing, but more modestly so – by 3% – also thanks to flights to Latin America.

Compared to May of last year, trucked cargo is reaching record figures (+32.1%). Imports and exports have increased by 54% and 11% respectively. The significant growth in imports comes mainly from Asia and North America. Exports to Africa are doing well after a loss of capacity in the past.

Flight movements

The number of flight movements fell by 3.7% compared to May 2017, making a total of 20,873 movements. Following the strike at Brussels Airlines, the number of passenger flights fell by 5.1% to 17,943 movements. Combined with an increase in the total number of passengers, the average number of passengers increased from 117 in May 2017 to 126 passengers per flight in May 2018.

Brussels Airport, 12 June 2018


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