In October, Brussels Airport welcomed almost 1,9 million passengers, representing 81% of the number of passengers in the same month in 2019. This makes October the 4th month in a row with a percentage above 80%, mainly thanks to the increase in the business trips. In terms of freight traffic, more than 66.000 tons of goods have been processed, a decrease of 9% compared to last year's volume.
Passenger transport: 81% of the number of passengers in 2019
In October, Brussels Airport welcomed 1.871.732 passengers, representing 81% of the number of passengers in September 2019. The strong increase in passenger traffic that we observed this summer continues, this is the 4th consecutive month with (more than ) 80% of pre-crisis passenger numbers. As in September, business travel growth continues, after a steep decline during the Covid crisis. We are also seeing more Dutch travelers at Brussels Airport, who want to avoid the crowds at Dutch airports.
Because the autumn holidays in French-speaking schools started a week earlier, the month of October also saw a strong increase in the number of departing passengers. The share of departing transfer passengers is 15%. This is 4 percentage points lower than the percentage in 2019 due to the strong increase in the number of local passengers.
The ten most popular destinations in October were Spain, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Portugal, the United States, France, Greece, the United Kingdom and Morocco respectively. Turkey and Greece in particular managed to exceed their October 2019 results due to the earlier start of the autumn holidays.
Cargo: volume reduction of 9% compared to 2021
Cargo traffic at Brussels Airport was down 9% in October compared to the same period in 2021, but up 21% compared to 2019. Air cargo volumes fell 9% compared to last year to reach 53.400 tons . This can mainly be explained by the fact that 2021 was an exceptionally strong year for the cargo department of Brussels Airport. We also recorded a 14% decline in the full-cargo segment. Cargo on board passenger flights increased slightly by 2% due to the growing number of passenger flights. Finally, the express services segment recorded a decrease of 13%. Overall, freight volumes are under pressure due to ongoing geopolitical tensions, lockdowns in China, the looming recession and its impact on e-commerce.
Trucked freight volumes fell by 12%. Asia remains the largest import and export region, although volumes were lower than last year due to the temporary effects of the lockdowns in China. In terms of imports, Africa is the second region and North America the third import region. In terms of exports, North America is the second export region and Africa the third region.
The total number of flight movements has increased by 22% compared to October 2021, to 16.818 flight movements. This number remains 18% lower compared to October 2019, before the crisis. The number of passenger flights represents 75% of the total number of passenger flights in October 2019. The average number of passengers on board remains high, with an average of 140 passengers per flight, compared to 131 in 2019. The occupancy rate of the flights therefore continues to increase, as does the deployment of larger aircraft. The number of cargo flights has fallen by 12% compared to 2021, according to the Belgian airport.