686,299 passengers flew with Brussels Airlines in March

 Last month 686,299 passengers flew with Brussels Airlines. The seat load factor of the flights amounted to an average of 74.8%. The number of passengers grew by 51.4 percent, but this spectacular growth is largely due to the fact that the flight programme of Brussels Airlines in March 2016 was scaled down in the aftermath of the Brussels attacks of March 22nd. 

Of all 686,299 passengers who travelled with Brussels Airlines during the month of March, 527,905 of them chose a European flight. 113,394 passengers flew to or from Africa, North-America, Israel or India.

It is hard to compare the figures of March 2017 to the same month last year. On the 22nd of March 2016 Brussels Airport was hit by terror attacks, which led to a 12-day closure of the airport. The flight programme of Brussels Airlines, which was partly operated out of other airports, was significantly decreased. This had a big influence on the traffic figures of March 2016. In March 2017 the airline operated 25.5% more flights compared to March 2016

The month of March was closed with the launch of Mumbai. Since the 30th of March, Brussels Airlines flies five times a week between Brussels Airport and the Indian metropolis. The new connection is showing a promising start .

The seat load factor of the flights went up 9,1 points and amounted to 74,8%. The cargo volume and the cargo load factor augmented as well.

In addition to its scheduled flight activity, Brussels Airlines operates many holiday and group flights for tour operators. Passenger figures for this activity are not included in the figures of this press release.





VLY difference in %


March 2017

March 2016





34.2 %

Total Passengers



51.4 %

-- Passengers Europe



52.9 %

-- Passengers Africa



28.1 %

-- Passengers North America



130.8 %

-- Passengers Middle East



61.3 %

-- Passengers Asia




Available seat-kilometers  (ASK)




Revenue Passenger-Kilometers  (RPK)




Passenger Load Factor (%)

74.8 %

68.6 %

9.1 pp.

Available Ton-Kilometers (ATK)   



33.7 %

Revenue Ton-Kilometers  (RTK)



50.5 %

Cargo Load Factor (%)

67.0 %

47.8 %

19.2 pp.

Figures based on preliminary figures currently available 

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About Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines is the home carrier of Belgium and one of the four network airlines of the Lufthansa Group. It connects the European capital from Brussels Airport with over 85 destinations, 17 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs more than 3,300 people and operates 43 aircraft.

Brussels Airlines aims to emit 50% less CO2 by 2030 compared to 2019 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2050. The airline is participating in the Stargate Project led by Brussels Airport and is therefore part of the testing ground for sustainable aviation at its home base. In addition, the airline signed the Circular Economy agreement of the Antwerp Management School in 2021. The airline was the first to transport Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) through the CEPS-pipeline connecting Brussels Airport early 2023. By end 2024, Brussels Airlines will have welcomed five state-of-the-art Airbus A320neo allowing the airline to significantly lower its CO2- and noise-emissions on its medium-haul network.

As an ambassador of its country, Brussels Airlines brings the world to Belgium and the best of Belgium to the world, among others through collaborations with Belgian Star Chefs, Belgian culinary products and the Belgian Icons, specially painted aircraft that honour a Belgian iconic person, team or event to promote Belgian culture worldwide.

More information on brusselsairlines.com 

About Star Alliance

The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance, based on a customer value proposition of global reach, worldwide recognition and seamless service. Since inception, it has offered the largest and most comprehensive airline network, with a focus on improving customer experience across the Alliance journey.

Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 10,000 daily flights to almost 1,200 airports in 184 countries.

More information on staralliance.com


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