Airports - passengers

  • More than 26 million passengers at Brussels Airport

    In 2019, the national airport in Zaventem (Brussels Airport) served more than 26 million passengers.

    Brussels airport is by far the largest of the 4 airports in the Flemish Region. Together the 4 airports counted just over 27 million passengers in 2019.

    2019 was a record year for Brussels airport. In 2002, the number of passengers in Zaventem had taken a dive. This was mainly the 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 Flemish regional airports are distinctly smaller in size than the national airport. Together they account for about 800,000 passengers per year. Ostend - Bruges Airport is known especially for its charter flights.

    Antwerp Airport specialises more as an intra-European business and tourist airport. Kortrijk – Wevelgem wants to develop 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 Brussel Airport, which was shut down for a while on account of the attacks of 22 March 2016. Over the years that followed, the two airports continued to welcome a larger number of passengers than in the years before 2016.

  • Brussels Airport in top 20 European airports

    In 2017, Brussel Airport held the 18th position on the list of the biggest airports in the European Union. Airports Heathrow (London), Charles De Gaulle (Paris) and Schiphol (Amsterdam) counted the most passengers in 2017.


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

30 January 2020

Next update

January 2021

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