Air Cargo Management

Passenger numbers drop 85 per cent as cargo volumes continue to rise, finds Brussels Airport

Brucargo, Covid-19, Brussels Airport

Despite passenger numbers dropping to 85 per cent compared to 2019, Brussels Airport has found that its cargo volumes are continuing to increase with an 18.9 per cent increase compared to last year.

It attributes the decline in passengers to increasing travel restrictions, particularly in Spain.

For the fourth consecutive month, air freight has seen an increase in volumes transported, up 18.9 per cent compared with September 2019. The airport says that the main cause of the overall negative growth is still the halt in wide-body passenger flights, which severely limits capacity, with freight on passenger aircraft carrying 50 per cent of the freight transported worldwide.

Express services is maintaining its growth compared with last year (+33.8 per cent), while the increase in volumes in the full cargo sector (+88.8 per cent) is accelerating the growth in air freight volumes. This compensates for the limited volumes on passenger flights.

The number of full cargo flights in September is “well above” the 2019 level, with a slight increase compared to the previous month. The number of additional flights by passenger aircraft used for freight-only flights remains constant. This does not, therefore, lead to an increase in night flights.

Imports and exports are on the rise. As far as imports are concerned, the airport has said that traffic from Africa is doing “particularly well”. On the export side, it says that Asia is “highly valued”.

379,303 passengers were welcomed at Brussels Airport in September of this year, down by -84.8  per cent compared to September 2019. These consisted of 175,594 departing passengers and 203,709 arriving passengers, a difference that can be explained by the end of the summer holidays and by the many destinations that have gone into the “red zone”, particularly Spain, which forced passengers to return to Belgium.

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