In 2015, the airport of Brussels South Charleroi has beaten its record of 2013. It has hosted 6,956,000 passengers, an increase of 8% over the previous year. In the spring it will start works to increase capacity, which now reaches saturation at peak times.
Great success for the Charleroi airport. Despite the departure of three Ryanair aircraft to Brussels in 2014, it resumed its growth path. It recorded a historical record of 7 million passengers (more precisely 6.956 million), an increase of 8% compared to 2014, which was a year in which the numbers went down slightly.
This development is reassuring. The transfer of certain Ryanair routes to Brussels Airport could raise concerns of disaffection of the Irish company for Charleroi. It is not so. Although no aircraft have been added since 2014, Ryanair flights show a high load factor. The first customer of the airport is still very solid. Other airlines have also displayed excellent performance. Wizzair “recorded a 20% increase in passengers,” said Vincent Grassa, spokesman for the airport. This is reflected in the top 5 destinations, displaying three destinations in Central Europe: Budapest (1), Warsaw (3rd) and Bucharest (5th).
Expansion of the airport to open in 2017
“The increase is due mainly to an improvement in load factors,” said Vincent Grassa. There are indeed more passengers, but fewer aircraft. Filling had reached 90 to 95%.
This growth necessitates the extension of the facilities. In spring, a site will open to a built an extension of the terminal that will be used to absorb peak hours traffic. This building will be commissioned in spring 2017. The original plans called for a development of 80 million euros. A decision of the European Commission to increase the fee paid by the airport to the Walloon Region for the use of facilities owned by the Region (runways, buildings) resulted in a downward revision of the project. The extension, more modest, will cost 15 million euros and should allow a capacity of 9 to 10 million passengers per year.
Brussels South Charleroi Airport also won first place in the European ranking of punctuality set by OAG, a company specializing in the study of the airlines in 2015. “We’ve got the 2nd place worldwide in 2014, for airports under 10 million passengers, “said Jean-Jacques Cloquet, CEO of the airport. This second rank in the world has also been confirmed for 2015. The compact configuration of the airport and its location are behind these good results.