Airports - passengers

  • Close to 26 million passengers at Zaventem National Airport

    The Flemish Region is home to 4 airports. Jointly, they processed well over 26 million passengers in 2018. 

    Zaventem National Airport is the country’s largest airport, processing nearly 26 million arriving and departing passengers in 2018. 2018 proved a record year for the national airport. 
    In 2002, the number of passengers in Zaventem had taken a dive, as a result of Sabena (the former state-owned national airline) being declared bankrupt. The years that followed witnessed a steady growth in the number of passengers almost year on year. With one exception, 2009, when there were markedly fewer travellers opting to travel by air as a result of the economic downturn. 2016 too saw a fall in the number of passengers as a result of the terrorist attacks of 22 March 2016. The airport was closed for a brief period.  

  • Other 3 airports jointly account for nearly 800,000 passengers

    The 3 other airports are distinctly smaller in size. Ostend - Bruges Airport is known especially for its charter flights. Antwerp Airport specialises as more of an intra-European business airport. Kortrijk – Wevelgem is looking to raise its profile as a regional business airport. The number of passengers processed at the airports of Ostend - Bruges and Antwerp saw a marked rise in 2016, when both airports took over a number of flights from Zaventem, which was shut down for a while on account of the attacks of 22 March 2016. Over the years that followed too, the two airports continued to welcome a large number of passengers. 

  • Zaventem in top 20 European airports

    In 2016, Zaventem held the 20th position on the list of the biggest airports in the European Union. The terrorist attacks of 22 March meant that the airport was shut down for a brief spell. As a result, the airport processed fewer passengers than the year before. In 2015, Zaventem still ranked 14th in this list 


Brussels Airport: BRUtrends – statistics on airport activities 
Antwerp Airport: Statistics 
Ostend Airport: Statistics 
Kortrijk Wevelgem Airport: News  
Eurostat: Number of passengers at the main airports per country 


Passenger: a person is counted as a passenger at a given airport when he departs from, arrives at or spends time in transit at that airport.  
Charter flights:  flights that are not operated according to a regular schedule, but are specifically commissioned by one or more customers who want a group of people to travel together. The opposite of charter flights are scheduled flights which, unlike charter flights, are operated to a regular, pre-programmed timetable between two or more destinations throughout the year. 

Publication date

31 January 2019

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