In October 2018, Brussels Airport lost an estimate of 120,000 passengers due to Aviapartner strike

@ Edwin Vanoverschelde

Last month, Brussels Airport welcomed just under 2.2 million, down 2.4% on October of last year. This decrease is due to the strike of the staff at Aviapartner which affected a large number of passengers over the last six days of the month. Thanks to the trucked cargo, the freight volumes at Brussels Airport, which were also impacted by the strike, went up slightly by 1.3% compared to the same period last year, inching close to 60,000 tonnes.


In October, the airport welcomed 2,177,172 passengers, down 2.4% (and 53,542 passengers) on the same period last year. This decrease is explained by the industrial action at Aviapartner which affected a wide number of airlines at Brussels Airport from 25 to 31 October. Without this strike, as a result of which Brussels Airport estimates having lost 120,000 passengers, we would have expected to see a 3% rise in passenger numbers in October.

Aviapartner resumes work at Brussels Airport after agreement between unions and management – still 100 flights cancelled

The strike at Aviapartner had less of an impact on the long haul flights (mostly handled by Swissport) which recorded a handsome 11% rise in October. Leisure flights fell by 3% whilst the other short haul flights to European and North African destinations fell by more than 4%.


Cargo volumes at Brussels Airport grew by 1.3% in October compared to October 2017. Over the course of last month, 59,685 tonnes were carried at Brussels Airport. Although this is a positive result, it does remain below the forecasts due to the strike at Aviapartner. To a degree, this was offset by the rise in trucked freight of just under 19%. The fact of the matter being that, because of the strike, a higher tonnage was carried by truck to other airports.

Equally impacted by the strike, flown cargo on the other hand fell by 4.1%. This primarily impacted the full-freighter segment which saw a 17.4% drop.

Exports, which witnessed a 14% decline, were worst affected.


The number of flights in October fell by 4.9% compared to October of last year, largely on account of the strike at Aviapartner. The average number of passengers per flight went up from 123 in October 2017 to 127 in October 2018.




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