Tourists are back to Brussels

This summer, in August, Brussels Airport welcomed nearly 2.5 million passengers, a rise of 7.6% compared to the same month in 2016. This is a new airport record for the month of August. Cargo transport saw a growth of 1.8% in comparison with the same month last year.


2,490,201 passengers travelled via Brussels Airport last August. In comparison with August last year, the total number of passengers rose by 7.6%. The number of departing passengers saw the largest rise, with an increase of 10.2%. The number of transfer passengers rose less sharply, by 3.2% in comparison to August 2016.

These positive figures are largely thanks to the growth that has taken place in holiday flights, the European traffic and the good performance of new long-haul flights at Brussels Airlines such as Toronto and Mumbai. Brussels Airlines and the long-haul flights grew by double digits. The return of the connection to Atlanta by Delta Air Lines, the start of RwandAir and the strong growth of Hainan Airlines, Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines also explain the growth of long-haul traffic. Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia are once again popular destinations, which is a positive factor for holiday traffic.

Low-cost transport has stabilised, whereby a decline by easyJet and Vueling was compensated by the growth of Ryanair and several other low-cost airlines.

What a beautiful day… It's summer in Brussels! 💛 Photo by @aris.setya #welovebrussels

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Cargo traffic rose in August by 1.8% compared to the same month last year. Express services and cargo on board passenger flights showed strong growth figures, with increases of respectively 14.6% and 9.4%. The full-cargo segment saw a decline of 18% compared to August 2016. This decline can be attributed to the departure of several companies due to the stricter noise standards at Brussels.

Export via air cargo grew by 15% thanks to the strong performance of the Belgian economy, primarily in the pharmaceutical sector. The discontinuation of a number of fullfreighter flights has caused a decline in import by air cargo of 20%. The truck transport via other airports to Brussels Airport has increased because of this by 20%.

Flight movements

The number of flight movements increased by 2.3% compared with August 2016. In August of this year, there were an average of 130 passengers on board every flight compared to an average of 213 in August 2016. In the past month, the number of passenger flights showed an increase of 1.6%.