In November, Brussels Airport welcomed more than 1.1 million passengers, 56% of the total of November 2019, before the Covid crisis. This is the fifth consecutive month that passenger totals were above a million. Cargo continues its month-on-month growth, with a growth of the total volume in November of 20% compared to November 2020.
Passenger figures: 56% of November 2019
In November, 1,112,216 passengers travelled via Brussels Airport. That is a decline of 44% compared to November 2019, but a considerable increase compared to November 2020, as in that month only 233,528 passengers visited the airport. Since July, passenger numbers have consistently, month after month, exceeded 1 million passengers, now for the fifth month in a row.
As this year the end of the autumn holidays fell in the first week of November, Brussels Airport welcomed more arriving than departing passengers. The passenger figures were lower in the second half of the month than in the first half because of the holiday period and the still hesitant recovery of business travel in this period of the year.
The ten most important countries in November were Spain, Italy, Portugal, France, Turkey, Switzerland, Morocco, the United States and the United Kingdom. In particular, Morocco (102% of the number of passengers in 2019), Turkey (80% of 2019) and Spain (79% of 2019) are doing well. The number of passengers travelling to the United States was 45% of the number in 2019. The ten most popular destinations in November were Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan, Rome, Malaga, Istanbul, Geneva, Frankfurt and Tenerife.
Transfer passengers accounted for 16% of the departing passengers; that share is lower than in 2019 due to the faster recovery of local traffic.
Cargo: more than 69,000 tonnes handled in November
The total cargo volume at Brussels Airport also showed a strong growth in November (+20% compared to 2020). The growth in air cargo (+ 23%) is most notable in the full-freighter segment (+ 55%) and in the volume of cargo on board passenger flights (+ 41%) which is continuing to recover thanks to the growing number of passenger flights. The express services experienced a slight decline (- 4%), but the volumes remain high.
In the full-freight segment, Brussels Airport is seeing growth among almost all existing customers, such as Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Sichuan Airlines. The routes from Asia and North America were the main contributors to the additional growth. Asia remains the most important region, followed by North America and Africa.
The transport of Covid-19 vaccines to and from Brussels Airport continues; more than 750 million vaccines have been handled since the start of vaccine transport in November 2020, whether for import, transit or export.
The number of flight movements in November decreased by 29% compared to the period prior to the crisis (November 2019). Brussels Airport registered 12,794 movements (compared to 18,063 in November 2019). The number of passenger flights fell by 38%. Each flight had an average of 116 passengers on board (compared to 129 in 2019).
The number of cargo flights increased by 15% compared to November 2020; this was largely due to the increase in the number of cargo flights operated with passenger aircraft, flights that are operated during the day. These flights remain necessary to meet the large demand for air cargo capacity and are often deployed from Brussels Airport for vaccine transports.