During the two months of summer holidays, Brussels Airport recorded passenger numbers of more than 50% of 2019’s figures, a trend that continued through September with no fewer than 1.3 million passengers over the month, i.e. 52% of pre-crisis numbers.
Cargo continues its strong growth month after month, with a 23% increase in volumes in September compared to September 2020.
52% of the September 2019 traffic numbers In September, 1,302,967 passengers travelled via Brussels Airport. This represents a decrease of 48% compared to September 2019, but a clear increase compared to September 2020, when only 379,303 passengers passed through the airport.
In terms of passenger numbers, September is comparable to the past two holiday months and is, together with August, the second month this year with over 1.3 million passengers.
Air cargo growth
The growth of air cargo (+19%) can be observed in all three segments, with full-freighter volumes going up by 25%, integrator volumes by 6%, and belly cargo by 52%. The latter result can be explained by the increase in the number of passenger flights.
In the full cargo segment, Brussels Airport again saw growth with almost all existing customers. New routes from Asia in particular are contributing to this growth. Asia remains the most significant region, followed by North America and Africa.
The transport of COVID-19 vaccines to and from Brussels Airport continues, with over 350 million vaccines handled at the airport to date. Currently, Brussels Airport also accommodates many vaccine flights to African countries thanks to the donations of vaccines from European Union Member States via the COVAX platform.
In September 2021, the total number of flight movements decreased by 35% compared to the pre-crisis period (2019). Brussels Airport recorded 13,954 movements (compared to 21,533 in September 2019). The number of passenger flights decreased by 45%.
The number of full cargo flights increased by 14% compared to last year. The proportion of cargo-only passenger flights remained stable in September. Passenger aircraft are still needed due to the high demand for airfreight capacity. These aircraft are also often used to transport vaccines from Brussels Airport.