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Cargo volumes down 12% at Brussels Airport, as passenger number climb

Cargo volumes down 12% at Brussels Airport, as passenger number climb

In January, cargo traffic at Brussels Airport fell by 12% compared to January 2022. This drop is partly due to the Chinese New Year, which was in January this year, resulting in lower volumes, the ongoing geopolitical tensions have an impact on cargo volumes as well.

Compared to January 2022, we see a decline in the full-freighter segment (-25%), integrator services (-6%) and trucked cargo (-17%). Belly cargo on the other hand increased by 10% given the gradual increase in passenger flights.

Asia remains the largest import and export region. Africa is the second region in terms of imports, followed by North America. For export, North America comes second ahead of Africa.

Read more: Brussels Airport handled 776,000 tonnes of cargo in 2022

Passenger traffic: up 66% compared to 2022    

1,327,309 passengers passed through Brussels Airport in January, up 66% compared to January 2022, when there were still travel restrictions and test requirements, and 80% of the passenger number in the same month in 2019, before the Covid crisis. The Christmas holidays had a positive impact on passenger numbers in January, with more returning than departing passengers. The share of transfer passengers was 20%, almost the same as in 2019.

The 10 most visited countries in January were Spain, Germany, Italy, the United States, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Portugal and Morocco, respectively. The United States, Turkey and Morocco even surpassed the 2019 results.

Read more: Brussels Airport and Brussels Airlines kick off the new year with first delivery of Sustainable Aviation Fuel via NATO pipeline


The total number of flight movements increased by 24% in January 2023 compared to 2022. The number of passenger flights increased by 35% compared to 2022, with on average 127 passengers per flight, 12% more than in January 2019 (113). The number of cargo flights decreased by 9% compared to 2022.

Picture of Edward Hardy

Edward Hardy

Having become a journalist after university, Edward Hardy has been a reporter and editor at some of the world's leading publications and news sites. In 2022, he became Air Cargo Week's Editor. Got news to share? Contact me on


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