In March Brussels Airport recorded cargo transport, was 14.6% lower than the same month last year. Cargo is crucial in these times for stocking our country, and thanks to air cargo, essential products such as pharmaceuticals and medical products can be supplied quickly. The total number of flights fell by 40%.
The freight volume at Brussels Airport declined in March 2020 by 14.6 % compared to March 2019. The drop in demand is the consequence of many companies in Belgium and Europe ceasing their operations due to the corona crisis. But there is also a considerable decline in capacity, largely due to a reduction in belly capacity – cargo transport on passenger flights – caused by the cancellation of long-haul flights.
In March, belly cargo decreased by 26.7%. The full-cargo segment declined by 2.1% and the integrator services remained stable with a slight increase of 0.1%.
There was also a considerable discrepancy between cargo flights at the beginning of the month, when the impact was still rather limited, and the end of the month. The coming weeks and months promise to fluctuate considerably. With the reduction in belly capacity, there is an increased demand for full-cargo capacity, but that cannot always be met. There are also routes that have been changed, but new airlines have also started operations at Brussels Airport: we were recently able to welcome Silk Airways, Amerijet and Suparna.
In the current period, air cargo is more important than ever. Thanks to air cargo, we are able to ensure that vital goods, medicines, medical products and food arrive quickly. For several years, Brussels Airport has been the international leader in the transport of pharmaceutical and biotechnological products, key sectors for our country.