Passengers drop to 12% in Brussels: sign for catastrophe to come?
Brussels Airport registered ‘only’ 233 528 passengers during November, or only 12% of travelers compared to last year. Figures would improve slightly during the Christmas holidays, the airport expects. Still, the sector is pessimistic. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects the impact of the pandemic to grow worse next year than expected initially.
The association calculated that in 2021, European aviation’s economic activities would further deteriorate with billions of losses. Europe will be hit the hardest when it comes to losses in aviation. According to IATA, next year, European aviation will lose 11,9 billion dollars. This year, European passenger transport decreased by an estimated 70%. Next year, it is expected to recover by 47,5%.
IATA predicts catastrophe
“Our prognoses fr this and next year are a catastrophe for European aviation,” says IATA’s European director Rafael Schwartzman. “There is optimism about a vaccine, but it probably won’t arrive in time to prevent the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs unless governments act now.” The association would like to see passengers tested before departure to avoid quarantine before or after a flight.
“The corona crisis has an enormous impact on the travel sector,” Arnaud Feist, top executive of Brussels Airport, says in a press release. “Unfortunately, figures remain more or less the same month after month. In October passenger numbers dropped to 13%, while in September this was 15%.
Airline company Brussels Airlines and tour operator TUI received slightly more bookings this week, and during the Christmas holidays, Brussels Airport will have more than 65 departing flights of 43 different airlines.
The most popular destinations are Spain, the Canaries, Portugal, Morocco, Turkey, and Poland. The most popular intercontinental destinations are the Gulf, New York, Washington, Montreal, and Kinshasa.
Brussels Airport registered slightly more than 6,4 million passengers between January and November, or hardly more than one-quarter of last year’s total (24,5 million). Freight traffic, on the other hand, is doing well. Cargo transport in November increased for the sixth month in a row compared to last year.