Anyone living beneath the flight paths of Zaventem Airport will have noticed a massive decrease in air traffic last month.
But whilst there was indeed a decrease of 99.3% in the number of passengers going through Brussels airport terminal in April, there was an increase of 52.1% in full cargo volume traffic.
The Coronavirus crisis has reduced the number of passengers to 17,000 passengers who transited through Brussels Airport in April. This is a huge difference from the 2.3 million passengers during the same month in 2019. In April 2020, although there was a 13.7% decrease in freight transport compared to the same month last year — mainly due to the disappearance of freight on board passenger aircraft — there was a sharp 52.1% increase for full cargo. Freight remains key to the supply to Belgium in these difficult times of essential goods, medicines, medical products and foodstuffs.
In April, there were about 100 passenger flights per week, for a total of 452 flights for the entire month. The total number of flights dropped by 88%. The average passenger occupancy rate was very low, with an average of 38 passengers per flight. The number of passenger flights decreased by 97.4% due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Brussels Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe, handling 26,4 million passengers and 667,220 tonnes of freight annually. Brussels Airport links the European capital with 236 passenger and cargo destinations worldwide that are served by 74 different airlines (based on 2019 statistics).
Brussels Airport is the second most important centre of economic growth in Belgium providing direct and indirect employment for 64,000 people.