During the first six months of 2011 Brussels Airport welcomed a total of 8.6 million passengers. Compared with the 7.7 million passengers who used Brussels Airport during the first half of 2010, this represents growth of 12.1%.
The Brussels Airport Company does, however, point to the exceptional circumstances during the spring of 2011 that underpin this strong growth. Without the effect of the ash cloud that grounded millions of passengers worldwide for days at the end of the Easter holidays in 2010 because virtually all Europe’s airports were closed, the growth figure would have stood at around 8%.
This means that once again Brussels Airport has performed above the European average. Transit traffic at Brussels Airport has received a sizeable boost in the past few months, but inter-European business traffic, low-cost traffic and long-haul fights are rising sharply, too. The driving force behind this growth is largely the development of Brussels Airlines and the hub activity of its partner airlines within Star Alliance, the worldwide alliance of airlines of which it is part. For instance, Thai Airways International has also now announced that as of 17 November they will flying Brussels to Bangkok direct three times a week.
The political climate in some Arab and African countries affected a number of routes flown direct out of Brussels Airport, but weighed to a limited extent on the overall result of the airport as many holiday passengers simply opted for a different destination. While the impact of the problems in Japan had serious consequences for traffic from, to and within Asia, the effect of this for our airport was also limited.
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