After two holiday months with only half the number of passengers compared to before the pandemic travelling via Brussels Airlines, September saw some 1.3 million passengers – only about 50% of the pre-crisis passenger number.
In September, over 1.3 million passengers travelled via Brussels Airport, a 48% decrease compared to September 2019, but a strong increase compared to September 2020, when only 379,303 passengers visited the airport, according to a press release.
“Just like in August, Brussels Airport welcomed more arriving passengers than departing ones in September, although many passengers chose to go on holiday in September,” the press release stated.
There were many holiday flights, especially within Europe, as well as visits to family and friends abroad or trips to a second residence.
Additionally, the changeable weather conditions in Belgium also contributed to an increased demand for flights to sunny destinations, as the top ten most popular countries in September were Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Turkey, France, Germany, Morocco, Switzerland and the United States.
With 96% of the 2019 figures, Greece is almost seeing its usual number of tourists from Belgium again, and more people flew to Morocco this year than in 2019 (112%).
The top ten destinations in September were Barcelona (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal), Madrid (Spain), Rome (Italy), Malaga (Spain), Milan (Italy), Alicante (Spain), Istanbul (Turkey), Porto (Portugal) and Nice (France).
The proportion of departing transfer passengers is 16%, which is only slightly less than in 2019, and is likely due to the strong recovery of local traffic.
The total number of flight in September 2021 decreased by 35% compared to the same period before the crisis: 13,954 flights at Brussels Airport, compared to 21,533 in September 2019.
The number of passenger flights decreased by 45%, and the average number of travellers per flight dropped as well, from 132 in September 2019 to 125 in September 2021.