Brussels Airlines expects almost 300,000 passengers during end-of-year holidays

Long-haul flights are over 87% full, mostly with people traveling to see friends and family for the holidays

Brussels, December 22, 2023 - Today marks the start of the end-of-year holidays, Brussels Airlines expects to carry almost 300,000 passengers in the coming two weeks. The long-haul flights are particularly very popular, with an average seat load factor of 87.2%.

Today will be the busiest day of the entire holiday period, with over 24,000 passengers booked on Brussels Airlines’ flights. The second busiest day of the end-of-year holiday will be Friday December 29, with over 21,000 passengers. It is clear that people want to be home or on their destination during the holidays, because December 24 and December 31 are the least popular travel days, with respectively 11,000 and 10,000 passengers.

Over 228,000 passengers will travel on the Short and Medium Haul network. Rome is the most popular destination amongst passengers who start their journey in Brussels, followed by Malaga, Barcelona and Vienna.

Almost 68,000 passengers will be welcomed on a long-haul flight. Although numerical a minority, the seat load factor on long haul flights is higher than average with ​ 87.2%.

New York is the most popular long-haul destination, followed by Dakar and Kinshasa.

2023, a year of new chapters at Brussels Airlines
Brussels Airlines will communicate the full-year results of 2023 early March. But the airline can already confirm that solid black figures are expected which would mark the end of three financially turbulent years for the Belgian airline.

A historic moment for Brussels Airlines in 2023 was no doubt the arrival of the Airbus A320neo. The very first aircraft of this type in the fleet of Brussels Airlines, and also the very first time Brussels Airlines was able to take delivery of a brand-new plane. One more A320neo has in the meantime joined the fleet.

Brussels Airlines was also able to invest in a better passenger experience, with a renewed Sunrise Lounge, upgraded Business Class catering on short haul flights, new amenity kits and the announcement of Michaël Vrijmoed as Star Chef for Brussels Airlines.

Outlook 2024
The new year will start with the presentation of new uniforms for flying and ground operations ​ employees. At the send of March, flights to Krakow (Poland) will reopen and in June - thanks to the addition of a tenth long haul plane - flights to Nairobi (Kenya) will be launched. In 2024, Brussels Airlines will also welcome three more brand-new A320neo’s to its fleet. And more exciting things are on the shelves. Stay tuned!

Joëlle Neeb

For media requests only


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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 90 destinations, 18 of which are in Sub Saharan Africa. The company employs more than 3,400 people and operates 44 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.

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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 17,000 daily flights to over 1,200 airports in 190 countries.

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Contact Zone General Aviation - Airport Building 26 1831 Diegem

+32 2 723 89 90