Brussels Airport handled 21.8 million passengers in 2016, down 7 % on record year 2015. The decrease is completely due to the attacks on the airport on 22 March and the following 12-day closure.
In the past year, Brussels Airport welcomed 21,818,418 passengers. Though the number of passengers is 7% lower than in record year 2015, when the airport handled 23.5 million passengers, 2016 finishes in the top three of years with the highest number of passengers in the history of Brussels Airport. In the month of December, the airport actually achieved its highest number of passengers ever in that month.
The decrease is the direct result of the attacks on the airport on 22 March 2016. Prior to the attacks, Brussels Airport was recording growth figures in passenger transport. After the attacks, no passenger flights were possible at Brussels Airport for 12 days. Flights were gradually resumed from early April to reach 100% capacity again in June 100%.
Despite the departure of Jet Airways and the March attacks, cargo transport at Brussels Airport closed 2016 with a growth of 1.1% compared to 2015. The transport of pharmaceutical products and perishable goods from and to Brussels Airport rose sharply last year compared to 2015.
The growth in 2016 is largely thanks to the full-freighter segment. This segment recorded strong growth particularly in the last quarter. On a year basis, the full-freighter segment showed a 14.3% growth.
Cargo transported by express services rose by 1.5% in 2016. The existing DHL hub has almost reached its maximum capacity.
As a result of the departure of Jet Airways at the end of March and the attacks on 22 March cargo carried on board passenger flights (belly cargo) fell by 12.6%.
The number of flights in the past year decreased by 6.5%, as direct consequence of the temporary closure of the airport after the attacks of 22 March. The number of passenger flights dropped by 7.5%, while the number of cargo flights rose by 7.6%. Aircraft on average carried 113 passengers. This means that the seat occupancy rate was the same as in 2015 despite the lower load factor in April and May during the restart of the airport.
In December the number of passenger flights grew by 1.4% on the same month in 2015. Taking account of the passenger growth of 8.3%, in the past month each flight had an average of 110 passengers on board, compared to 104 passengers in December 2015.