Brussels Airport records almost 2.3 million passengers in May (+0.7% year on year)


In May, Brussels Airport welcomed nearly 2.3 million passengers, slightly up by 0.7% on May 2018. Cargo transport fell sharply by 11% compared to the same month last year. These results were impacted by the various strikes both in Belgium and abroad.


In May, Brussels Airport welcomed 2,280,205 passengers, which represents an increase of 0.7% compared to May 2018.

As in April, May’s results were negatively impacted by specific developments. Indeed, there were multiple including at skeyes on the morning of 14 May, in Italy and France and at SAS. As far as the airline companies are concerned, the end of flybmi regional operations, the bankruptcy of WOW Air and the reduction in frequency of Emirates flights to Europe due to runway works in Dubai have also reduced the figures for the month of May. Also of note was the decline in the number of holidaymakers in May, a quieter period between the Easter holidays and the summer holidays. Finally, this year, Ramadan occurred almost entirely during the month of May, which also negatively influenced the figures.

The number of originating passengers increased slightly by 0.9% compared to May 2018. The number of transfer passengers increased by 10.2% compared to the same month last year, which is mainly explained by the strike at Brussels Airlines in May 2018.

Due to holiday periods around May 1st and the Ascension long weekend, there was a big difference between the number of departing and arriving passengers.

For long-haul flights, the greatest increases were recorded at Brussels Airlines, Ethiopian, Qatar Airways, ANA and Hainan.

In the short-haul segment, Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, Vueling, Iberia, Aeroflot, Tarom and Finnair showed the strongest growth.


Cargo volumes at Brussels Airport were down by 11%. This decline was unfortunately observed in all segments. All regions are showing negative growth, both in terms of imports and exports. All European airports are facing significant decreases, but the results at Brussels Airport are, however, lower than the European average, notably because of strike actions at skeyes which mainly affected the cargo flights, and elsewhere in Europe.

In May 2019, the full-freighter segment experienced a sharp drop of 13.3% in comparison to May last year. For their part, integrator services are facing a sharp decline of 13.2%.
Belly cargo dropped by 4.3%, while trucked freight was down sharply by 12.1%.


The number of passenger flights increased slightly by 1.7% in comparison to May last year. The average number of passengers per flight went from 126 passengers to 125 passengers per flight.


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