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Brussels airport report shows that pre-COVID levels are miles away

The month of October continues the trend of the last three months and is the third month this year with more than 1.3 million passengers, says Brussels Airport.

During the month of October, 1,312,809 passengers travelled through the Belgian airport. This is a decrease of 43% compared to October 2019, but a sharp increase compared to October 2020, when only 312,556 passengers visited the airport.

As the beginning of the autumn holiday fell at the end of the month, Brussels Airport received more departing than arriving passengers in October. The holiday flights, especially within Europe, were once again very successful, as were visits to family and friends abroad or holidays in a second stay. During the autumn holidays, Brussels Airport welcomed many passengers who had postponed their trip, originally scheduled for last summer, to the autumn. The bad weather conditions of the last month also had a positive effect on the last minute bookings. Finally, Business Travel is also slowly returning.

A lot of travellers on the list had only experienced the fall from high school – perhaps the easiest route for children travelling into Brussels – and the fall, during the period from October to early November, made most of the new arrivals wait by far too much.

Some had to be persuaded to stay on long queues. Many waited until they were about 10 or 11 kilometres early, taking a long time to arrive. They were told that if they waited too long, they would be on their way for their trip back to Brussels.

Several days passed before the first arrivals started to leave, but the queues were still long and many of these were sent at great risk to the plane or train.

In general, the bad weather of the end of the fall has affected many travellers who come to Brussels, and in no wise is there any greater tragedy than when you are travelling a year in advance.

It was a time for many of us to leave our hotel hotel here in the town centre, at our first stop if not from the airport that day. We were looking at some other choices. It was more comfortable for us to be sleeping in a hotel.

The ten most popular countries in October were Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Turkey, France, Greece, Morocco, Switzerland and the United States (for the latter, the effects of the reopening of the borders on 8 November for tourist travel should be felt from November). Greece (129% compared to 2019 figures) and Morocco (99% compared to 2019 figures) are the two fastest growing countries. The ten most popular destinations in October were Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona, Malaga, Rome, Milan, Istanbul, Alicante, Geneva and Frankfurt. Transfer passengers account for 16% of departing passengers, which is lower than in 2019 due to the strong increase in the number of local departing passengers.

The total number of aircraft movements decreased by 33% in October compared to the period prior to the crisis (2019). Brussels Airport registered 13,739 movements (compared to 20,622 in October 2019). The number of passenger flights decreased by 43%. Good news is that the average occupancy rate per flight was 130 passengers, almost equal to the number of October 2019 (131 passengers).

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