Brussels National Airport received over 1.6 million travelers in February, a 5.4% increase over the same month of last year, the airport announced on Tuesday. Freight traffic also increased – by 0.8%.
“Both the number of departing passengers (up by 2.6%) and that of transit passengers (+10.4%) increased, compared to the same month in 2017”, the airport disclosed. “This marked increase in the number of transit passengers highlights Brussels Airport’s increasing importance as a hub within Star Alliance and as a transit airport for Brussels Airlines and the other companies of this alliance.”
The growth is led primarily by Brussels Airlines and long-haul traffic, involving Emirates, Delta Airlines and Hainan Airlines. The airport expects long-haul traffic to increase further from the end of March, with new flights by Hainan Airlines to Shenzhen and by Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong. "With six new flights per week between Brussels and the Asian continent, the airport is going to play an important role in encouraging tourism to our country”, it said.
Freight increased by 0.8% over February 2017: air freight went down by 3%, while truck consignments shot up by 13%.
However, there was a huge drop of 18.4% in all-cargo traffic “due to the departure or disappearance of many freight companies, resulting from the stricter sound-level standards in the Brussels Region”, Brussels Airport stated. This withdrawal was, nevertheless, partially offset by a sizeable increase (+13.7%) in freight transported on passenger planes.
The Brussels Times