For the first time since the attacks on 22 March, Brussels Airport can again report growth in the number of passengers. In November, the airport welcomed 1,744,169 passengers. That is 2.9% more than in November 2015 and the highest number of passengers ever recorded in a month of November.
The growth in November this year is largely driven by the strong performance of Brussels Airlines and Ryanair, but other intra-European scheduled flights also recorded growth in November 2016. The number of originating passengers increased by 2.4% in comparison with November 2015. After the sharp rise in recent months, the number of transfer passengers has stabilised at -0.2%.
In should be noted here, however, that the passenger total in November last year was influenced by the heightened security level following the attacks in Paris and the lock-down of Brussels. European passengers in particular cancelled their travel plans to and from Brussels. Even now, quite a few tourists continue to avoid our country; tourists from the United States, Japan and China in particular have not yet returned in their previous numbers. If this trend is to be reversed, it is essential that the various authorities run targeted campaigns in these countries in order to improve the image of our country.
Cargo traffic at Brussels Airport continued the strong growth it has shown in previous months to record a 15.2% increase on November 2015. The growth is once again driven by the full-freighter segment that has increased by more than half (+55.5%), largely thanks to Etihad Cargo, Ethiopian Airlines Cargo and Qatar Airways Cargo.
Integrator services also showed a healthy growth: an increase of 8.5% compared to the same month last year. The growth is strongly influenced by the season’s festivities, whereby each year more cargo is shipped worldwide.
Belly cargo, cargo carried on board passenger flights, dropped by 11.4% compared to November last year. The strong growth of Brussels Airlines and United Airlines has not yet been able to compensate for the departure of Jet Airways to Schiphol.
The number of flight movements in November dropped by 1.5% in comparison with November last year. Since the number of passengers has increased, the average seat occupancy rate on passenger flights has risen from 106 to 111 passengers per flight.