Since the beginning of July, TUI fly has resumed activities at the Ostend-Bruges regional airport. The restart of the flights was accompanied by a phased build-up with a limited summer programme. TUI fly currently flies to Spain, Greece and Turkey. Flights to Turkey are only available for passengers with a Turkish passport.
This restart allowed 18,796 passengers to travel through the regional airport. However, this is 69.4% less compared to the 61,520 passengers in July 2019. The impact of the coronavirus is significant and is severely affecting the airport. Normally, July is one of the busiest months of the year for Ostend-Bruges Airport. For the period from January to July 2020, the airport recorded 75,699 passengers, compared to 254,089 passengers for the same period in 2019. This is a decrease of 70.2%, in line with the general trend at other European airports.
Business flights via NSAC have also resumed and are at the level of 2019. The business segment is able to recover faster and offers a safe travel alternative in corona times.
Just as in previous months, the cargo activities at Ostend-Bruges Airport continued to grow significantly. The cargo volume rose by 159% to 3,515 tonnes compared to 1,356 tonnes in July 2019. The airport owes this growth to a number of cargo companies that have been flying into the airport since the start of the corona crisis and have decided to stay.
The airport expects the increasing cargo trend to continue in the coming months. In August, for example, the Chinese group Hong Yuan started a series of test flights and these were also successfully completed. Currently, the new airline operates on the route SJW-OST-SJW (Shijiazhuang Zhengding International Airport). These developments will also ensure that the annual volume of 2019 will be largely exceeded. At present, the airport has already traded 28,417 tonnes over the period January to July, which is 115% more than the same period in 2019.
The airport remains very cautious about passenger flights. The coming months, including the autumn period, will still be affected by the evolution of the coronavirus, consumer confidence and foreign border policy. The airport strictly follows the measures to ensure that passengers travel from Ostend airport with a safe and familiar feeling.
Tuesday, 18 August 2020