Brussels Airport (BRU) closed out 2019 with cargo volumes registering 667,000 tonnes for the full-year, a significant drop of 8.8 per cent in line it says, with the European average.
Full freighter volumes, a sector that is more sensitive to market fluctuations, suffered the sharpest downturn at -15.9 per cent year-on-year.
Integrator services also reported a decrease in tonnage for the first time in several years – down 6.0 per cent – mainly due to the national strike in February and labour strife at air traffic control company skeyes, in the first half of 2019.
Also affected by these events, but to a lesser extent says Brussels, was belly cargo which dropped by 2.5 per cent. Also affected by the slower economic growth, trucked air cargo was down by 11.5 per cent.
In December 2019, transported cargo volumes through BRU rose by 1.6 per cent compared against December 2018, reaching 63,112 tonnes. This increase was mainly due to belly cargo (+3.5 per cent) and integrator services (+7.3 per cent).
Full freighter, which is particularly affected by fluctuations in the European market, levelled off, due to the significant peak at the end of the year, the many additional flights at Brussels Airport and the start-up of Sichuan Airlines Cargo.
Trucked cargo, also impacted by the markets, was down by 4.2 per cent.
In 2019, the number of air movements fell slightly by 0.4 per cent compared with 2018. Of these, passenger flight movements remained relatively stable, while cargo flight movements decreased by 2.2 per cent.
The airport’s long-haul network grew by 4.7 per cent in 2019, thanks in particular to Ethiopian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, United Airlines, Emirates, Air Canada, Etihad Airways and Japan’s ANA. On the short and medium-haul network, Ryanair, Brussels Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Aeroflot, Iberia, easyJet, Vueling and Finnair posted strong growth.
Last year, Brussels Airport welcomed 26.36 million passengers, up 2.7 per cent on 2018 and a new record for the airport.