Although first half results are still negative, Brussels airport has reported a solid growth of 4.8% in volumes for the month of June.
For what is a typical hub airport heavily dependent on belly capacity and cargo in normal times, this is a strong result, knowing that overall reported volumes are still dark red. Reporting positive numbers and continuing its effort in business development, the cargo zone of the airport has been able to justify its community mentality in a time of crisis.
Whilst the passenger terminals have been eerily quiet at Brussels airport because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cargo aprons have been been busy.
Initially cargo volumes at Brussels airport, in line with global trends, dropped by 33% year on year through the rapid belly capacity reductions as passenger airlines stopped flying and grounded their fleet. After week 13, though, cargo traffic started picking up again. Initially facilitated by a demand surge in PPE transportation, which at times brought exotic carriers to Brussels, but simultaneously supported by existing full freighter customers increasing frequencies, carriers commenced passenger freighter operations. Full freighter volumes increased 71.5% in June compared to 2019. New airlines such as Amerijet, Silkway and Virgin Atlantic started operations to Brussels airport, expanding the global network significantly. Finally, integrator traffic showed continuous growth week over week, reporting a 29.5% year on year increase in June.