April figures reflect aftermath of March 22

During the month of April, 542,226 passengers flew on a Brussels Airlines flight, or 16.9 percent less than in April last year. These figures reflect the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of March 22, which forced Brussels Airlines to operate fewer flights.

Brussels Airlines’ home base Brussels Airport was closed for all passenger traffic until April 3. Since that day, Brussels Airlines has progressively rebuilt its flight offer from Brussels Airport, while reducing its flights from the regional airports to which the airline had deviated its flights. By the end of April, Brussels Airlines was operating around 85% of its flight program.

The operational challenges, together with the commercial impact of the March 22 attacks, translated into a passenger decrease of 16.9 percent in April. This is mainly due to the negative growth recorded during the first half of the month. As the month progressed, the passenger evolution improved. Furthermore the figures are influenced by the fact that the busy eastern holidays started in April last year, while this year they started in March.

The decrease was mainly recorded on the European network. On board of African flights, Brussels Airlines welcomed 2.6% more passengers. The Trans-Atlantic flights attracted 9.8% more passengers, partly thanks to the launch of new destination Toronto.


Operational impact

“The figures reflect a period during which our flight program could not be executed normally, due to infrastructural limitations. In May the operational situation improved tremendously. Passengers do not need to come to the airport earlier anymore and the long waiting lines are a thing of the past. We have undertaken many commercial initiatives to further stimulate market demand.”

-- Bernard GustinCEO Brussels Airlines


The seat load factor of the flights amounted to an average of 66.5%. The European flights even recorded an average load factor of 71.4%, and on flights to/from Africa and the US, respectively 61 and 63% of the seats were occupied. The freight load factor on flights to Africa was at 68% (80% in 2015), while the freight volumes on board of flights from Africa to Brussels remained stable.

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.








Year/year difference in %








Available seat-kilometres (000)




Revenue Passenger-kilometres (000)




Freight ton-kilometers





Freight Load Factor



-15 pct. points

Bezettingsgraad Passagiers (Passenger Load Factor)



- 7.4 pct. points


Figures based on preliminary data 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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