The national strike on 13 February had a strong impact on passenger numbers at Brussels Airport last month, the airport reported on Friday. Over 1.6 million passengers used the airport in February, about 8,000 or 0.5% fewer than in February 2018. Without the strike, which stopped all traffic for 24 hours, there would have been more passenger and cargo flights through the airport, which estimates the number of passengers it lost as a result of the strike at about 60,000.
Local passengers were down 0.7% compared to February last year. However, despite the strike, the number of transit passengers went up by 1.5%. Long-haul travellers increased by 3% thanks to new destinations launched in 2018, but their number is still lower than preceding months because of the 13 February strike.
The volume of freight, at 52,169 tonnes, was 2.1% lower than in February 2018 and, according to the airport, the national strike had a negative impact of about 5%. Despite that, cargo on passenger aircraft increased by 6.6% thanks to new long-haul destinations.
While freight transported by trucks increased by 13.1%, plane cargo decreased by 13.2% .
Finally, the number of flights went down by 5.8%, due mainly to the impact of 13 February.