Just 250,065 passengers set foot in Brussels Airport in April this year, representing an 89% drop compared to April 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic, the airport said in a press release on Wednesday.
This very low number – about 11% of the normal traffic the airport would expect – is explained by the ban on non-essential travel which remained in effect until the 18th of April, along with the array of travel restrictions and conditions imposed on those able to fly.
Cargo traffic, on the other hand, continued its strong growth with a 72% increase in the same period over 2020.
Although the passenger numbers are still down at Brussels Airport, they remained slightly higher in April compared to February and March. About a quarter of these passengers were simply transferring, passing through Belgium on their way elsewhere.
The airport expects the overall improvement in traffic to continue in May, although the imposition of testing and quarantine on travel, as well as the fact that some countries do not accept Belgian tourists, are weighing on visitor numbers.
The total number of flight movements decreased by 70% in April 2021: there were 5,879 movements compared to 19,710 in April 2019, before the global coronavirus outbreak.
The number of passenger flights decreased by 83%, with an average passenger count of 85 people on board.