The number of flights at Brussels Airport has decreased by over 50% in the past few days and the number of passengers has plummeted by 70% since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, which has a severe impact on all airport companies. Government support for the aviation sector is now urgently needed.
Brussels Airport fully understands that this unprecedented crisis requires drastic measures, in terms of health care as well as socio-economically. However, these measures also have consequences for air traffic, which has decreased considerably over the past few weeks, with a growing number of cancellations in the past few days.
Several countries are no longer admitting flights from Belgium. That, combined with the plummeting number of passengers, has resulted in airlines deciding to decrease the frequency of their flights or to stop their operations. But Brussels Airport remains operational.
“Today we have 70% fewer passengers than in the same period last year and the situation will worsen over the next few days. We are examining how best to handle our operations and continue to prioritize public health and safety. The coronavirus has a severe economic impact on the airport and the entire aviation industry.”, says Arnaud Feist, CEO van Brussels Airport Company. “It is crucial to protect jobs and make sure that the airport companies survive this crisis. For that, government support is urgently needed. Together we can make sure that the industry overcomes this trying period.”
Brussels Airport Company employs 1,100 persons. Due to the strong decrease in passenger numbers, there is not enough work to occupy all of them. That is why the possibilities of temporary unemployment are examined.
But Brussels Airport Company is not the only company to suffer from the Covid-19 outbreak, the coronavirus crisis also has a heavy economic impact on all partners on the airport site. The airport directly employs 24,000 people and provides indirect employment for 40,000 people.
Brussels Airport, 17 March 2020