Brussels Airport records strong cargo activity in 2016

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Jan 07, 2017: Brussels Airport has seen 1.1 percent increase in cargo traffic in 2016 compared to 2015, despite the impact of the attacks on March 22.

Strong figures were noted particularly in the second half of the year, so that the loss caused by the departure of Jet Airways and the impact of the attacks were compensated on a year basis. 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 percent growth. Cargo transported by express services rose by 1.5 percent in 2016. The existing DHL hub has almost reached its maximum capacity.

Cargo carried on board passenger flights (belly cargo) fell by 12.6 percent in 2016. The decrease is a result of the departure of Jet Airways at the end of March and the attacks. For twelve days there were no passenger flights at the airport so no cargo could be placed on these aircraft. Passenger flights gradually resumed to reach 100 percent in June.

Cargo transport at Brussels Airport recorded positive growth of 22.0 percent in December in comparison with same month in the previous year. This can be almost entirely attributed to the almost doubling of the full-freighter transport (+88.9 percent). Belly cargo fell by 5.5 percent compared to December 2015, while integrator traffic rose by 2.0 percent on the same month in 2015.

Brussels Airport handled 21.8 million passengers in 2016, down 7 percent on record year 2015. The decrease is completely due to the attacks on the airport on 22 March; the airport was closed for 12 days and then only gradually resumed its operations.