Brussels Airport Handles 1.7 Million Passengers in May 2022

Photo Credit: Stephanie Fraikin via Brussels Airport

LONDON – Brussels Airport has handled 1.7 million passengers in May 2022, which is an increase of 319% compared to May 2021 and 74% to that of May 2019.

The airport has dubbed this as one of the best months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The Numbers…

Brussels Airport handled a total of 1,697,334 passengers in May 2022.

The 10 most popular countries for the airport were as follows:

  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • Turkey
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • France
  • The United States
  • The United Kingdom
  • Switzerland

The 10 most popular destinations in May were:

  • Madrid
  • Barcelona
  • Rome
  • Lisbon
  • Malaga
  • Milan
  • Istanbul
  • London
  • Geneva
  • Frankfurt

The airport’s flight movements increased by 134% to 16,428 flights and are not far away from the 21,055 movements recorded in the same period in 2019.

In terms of cargo, numbers have declined by 9% compared to May 2021, with the full freighter segment declining 11% while cargo onboard passenger jets rose by 57% due to the increase in the number of passenger flights.

The airport is banking on some new developments coming out of the cargo wing of its operations.

For example, Air Belgium, through its partnerships with Hongyuan, started cargo flights with their Boeing 747 as well as Virgin Atlantic operating cargo flights with an Airbus A321P2F.

Brussels Airport has also prided itself on being the main European hub for vaccine transport, with 1.3bn COVID-19 vaccines being transported via Brussels Airport since the start of such transport in November 2020.

U.S Preclearance on the Way…

One other highlight of note is that Brussels Airport is set to receive the facilities to conduct U.S preclearance checks, in a move to enhance easier travel between the two countries.

Together with the United States government, the Belgian government signed an agreement back in 2020 with the idea for passengers to save the time upon arrival in the United States.

This is the first US Preclearance in mainland Europe, with the other preclearance being in Ireland, where 2 airports, namely Dublin Airport and Shannon Airport, both have the same preclearance installed.

On June 2, the Belgian government gave the green light for Brussels Airport to implement the said feature to the airport.

The airport will not be able to have the system ready as of now, but it is expected to be ready in about 1.5 to 2 years.

The 5 destinations from Brussels to which you can get preclearance are:

  • New York JFK
  • New York EWR
  • Washington IAD
  • Chicago ORD
  • Miami


It remains clear that Brussels Airport is making significant strides, even if numbers are dropping off ever so slightly.

But for now, the triple-digit increase is a reflection that air travel from the airport is coming back to some level of normalcy, which is definitely a step in the right direction that they want to take.

Looking ahead, it is likely that we will see far greater numbers as the Summer 2022 season progresses further and further, which is going to be a much-needed boost for the airport.

About the author

James Field

James is a passionate AvGeek based in Manchester, U.K who has been actively spotting for years. James is the Editor-in-Chief for the company.

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