Brussels Airport sees cargo demand slide by 8.8% in 2019

By Damian Brett

Brussels Airport saw its cargo volumes decline last year, but there was an improvement as the year drew to a close.

The Belgian hub recorded an 8.8% year-on-year decline in cargo traffic to 667,220 tonnes in 2019, which it said was in line with the general market.

Full freighter volumes, which the airport said is the sector most sensitive to market fluctuations, suffered the sharpest downturn at 15.9% year on year.

The airport said: “Integrator services (-6%) also reported a decrease in tonnage for the first time in several years, mainly due to the national strike in February and the situation at skeyes (Belgian air traffic control) in the first half of 2019. Also affected, but to a lesser extent, by these events, belly cargo, decreased by 2.5%.”

Trucked cargo was down by 11.5%.

The most recent figures from Airports Council International Europe show that European Union airports recorded a 3.6% year on year decline in cargo traffic during the first ten months of the year.

However, there was some positive news for Brussels as cargo volumes in December increased by 1.6% on last year to 63,112 tonnes on the back of improvements in belly cargo and integrator volumes.

Full freighter volumes were down by 0.2% and trucked volumes slipped by 4.2%.

In contrast, Belgian rival Liege saw its cargo traffic reach record volumes in 2019 on the back of several freighter service wins.

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