In June, Brussels Airport welcomed 646,589 passengers, i.e. a 73% decline compared to June 2019. With an increased number of flights, and the prospect of summer holidays, June was the best month since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Cargo traffic continues its strong growth in June, with volumes up 40% compared to June 2020.
Passenger traffic: down by 73%
In June, 646,589 passengers travelled through Brussels Airport, a decrease of 73% compared to June 2019. Despite this, June has been the best month since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, and these passenger figures confirm the positive trend we have seen since April 2021. From week to week, passenger numbers increased steadily in June, from 19% in week one to 35% in week four. The introduction of new flights by Brussels Airlines, among others to North America, and the lifting of the travel ban by Morocco in mid-June, combined with the start of holiday flights from week three, had a positive impact on these results.
As a result of the start of the holiday season, the number of departing passengers was also higher than the number of arriving passengers, with, for example, during week four, 38% of the number of departing passengers of 2019 against 32% of the arriving passengers. The share of transfer passengers is 19% in June, similar to 2019. The top 10 destination countries were respectively Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, the US, Morocco, Germany and Austria.
Cargo: volumes up 40%
The strong growth in freight volumes observed since the start of the year continues, largely as a result of increased demand for air cargo across Europe. Cargo figures are compared to those for 2020 since the Covid crisis only had a limited impact on freight volumes last year.
Compared to last year, and as a result of the increase in passenger flights, freight volumes on passenger flights increased strongly (+624% compared to June 2020), although these volumes remain lower than would be expected in a normal year (-34% compared to 2019). The full-freighter segment also increased with 38%, once again with an overall growth for all existing partners. The new routes of Longtail Aviation and China Central Honghao Airlines contributed to this growth. Integrator services increased 13% compared to June 2020. As a result, the total flown freight volumes saw a growth of 40% compared to June 2020.
Asia remains the major destination for air freight, followed by North America and Africa. The trucked volumes increased by 48% compared to the same month last year.
The shipments of Covid-19 vaccines to and from Brussels Airport also continue, with over 150 million vaccines handled at the airport, for export outside of Europe. This makes Brussels Airport one of the most important hubs in the world for the global distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.
The total number of flight movements fell by 54% in June 2021 compared to pre-pandemic (2019). Brussels Airport recorded 9,543 movements (versus 20,895 in June 2019). The number of passenger flights decreased by 66%. There were on average 106 passengers per flight, compared to 115 in June 2019.
The number of full-freighter flights is up compared to 2020 (+11%), with a large number of extra flights operated by passenger aircraft used to carry freight only, without increasing the proportion of night flights. However, the proportion of freight on board passenger flights is still lower than last year.