Last Wednesday, the W.H.O., World Health Organization, announced that COVID-19 has become a global epidemic (pandemic). It seems unreal for you, for me, for communities, for government leaders, for everyone here in the world. Reality takes precedence when we face the numbers. Given the daily evolution around COVID-19, “travel” quickly takes on a different meaning. Despite the uncertain and rapidly changing climate in which we live and work today due to the impact of COVID-19, I would also like to reassure you and outline the preventive measures we take as an airport to ensure your safety and the safety of our airport staff. Through this link you can consult our preventive measures.
Today are particularly challenging times for the aviation sector. This crisis therefore has an important impact on our aviation activities. In the meantime, several countries decide to close their airspace, which has an impact on normal schedules. In addition, travel is generally discouraged by the Foreign Affairs department. If you travel via our regional airports in the near future, please check the website of the airline TUI fly to see if your flight can continue. The airline is currently working day and night to provide their passengers with the best possible information and assistance.
With this I would like to personally thank you, dear traveler, for the trust you have in our regional airport. I therefore hope, just like you, that you will find the opportunity to travel again very often from Antwerp Airport.
Together we will fight this pandemic
CEO & Accountable Manager Flanders International Airport Ostend-Bruges/Antwerp
In response to the coronavirus outbreak in China and all other viruses we provide you some preventive measures;
Transmission of the coronavirus is likely to be similar to that of the flu virus and happens via the respiratory tract. This can occur by directly inhaling infected droplets from coughing, sneezing, talking, or by direct contact with surfaces and especially with the hands on which these droplets end up. The virus can then be transmitted via the hands to the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose and eyes.
More information via www.info-coronavirus.be/en/
In Ostend, breaking monthly passenger records has become the trend for 2019. Aside from March and April, each month a new record was set. A total of 457 423 passengers made their way through the Ostend airport, a rise of 8.9% from 2018 (419 865 passengers). Antwerp’s summer proved to be the busiest one yet, passing the 300 000 passenger mark in 2019 (306 330). Despite a laborious start to the year, due to a 35% capacity loss from VLM Airlines, we were able to turn the tide. The result is a slight growth from 2018: 2.6% or 289 403 passengers.
The considerable rise in passenger numbers from the past few years has continued on.
One of the reasons for another record year was the launch of the successful Ostend-Moscow connection on March 7th. A high number of bookings proved its popularity. Unfortunately, the connection was temporarily suspended just before summer. The ongoing global issues with the B-737 Max aircraft in the fleet of Pobeda, subsidiary of Aeroflot, are the cause for this abrupt shutdown. Although they presently lack the aircraft to reach their entire network, a resumption of this service has not been ruled out.
Another boost in passenger numbers results from the European competitions in which top Belgian football clubs compete.
Furthermore, ‘general aviation’ (business air travel) has increased as well. It made up for 9% of all flights, a 3% rise from 2018. The brand new NSAC business terminal allows the airport to handle more flights ànd more passengers. Through a beautiful infrastructure and an excellent array of services the NSAC is able to live up to the high expectations of its clientele. The airport projects further growth in this section, along with passenger flights and cargo business.
The cargo transport volume has been under great pressure, not only in Ostend but on a worldwide scale.
A 10.7% dip in volume from 2018 brought us to a total of 24 757 tons.
Ostend airport thusly follows the general trend of the cargo sector. However, we hope to carry over the positive uptick that was registered in the last few weeks of the year. A total of 5 630 tons in December is 13.8% better than last year, and stands as the highest number since 2013; a welcome boost to end the cargo year.
Ostend has added the Italian BCUBE as their third cargo handler, after Aviapartner and Fenair, to optimize the service of its cargo clients.
With the arrival of BCUBE, along with the recent inauguration of the spectacular dismantling hall of the Aerocircular company, the long-awaited reopening of ‘apron 1’ at the airport is a new milestone.
Aerocircular professionally dismantles passenger aircraft. Each part, down to the last screw, is recycled. Each part is repurposed: as a spare part in aviation, as a new application of an existing part or as a secondary raw material. In doing so, Aerocircular not only distinguishes itself in the economic aspect of the business model, it also strives for sustainability. Its activities lie within the circular economy
Marcel Buelens, CEO of International Airport Ostend-Bruges:
“Not only have we stunned our owners, the Egis group, we have recorded our best year since 1966 with these 457 423 passengers. Nearly 5000 more, 53 years later. Only 1965 (466 427) and 1964 (485 534) are to be outdone, a great challenge! We must continue to work with our partners on this economic engine for the region and for Flanders. We would like to give special thanks to our people for their hard work, dedication and continued belief in a beautiful future for the Ostend airport. A thank you also goes out to the LOM board of directors and the city council of Ostend and Middelkerke for their support and positive approach to the cabinet of Mobility led by Minister Lydia Peeters.”
Since April 2019, two new ethnic destinations were put in place by TUI fly: Lublin (Poland) and Enfidha (Tunisia). Other routes such as Tangier, Alicante and Malaga underwent a capacity increase. This additional capacity was able to mitigate the downfall of VLM Airlines.
Never before in Antwerp Airport history had there been such a notable summer! Through July, August and September, a whopping 101 069 travelers passed through the airport, as opposed to 92 043 the previous year. This is an increase of nearly 10% (9.8%).
On September 9th the brand new airline company Air Antwerp and codeshare partner KLM reopened the historic business route Antwerp – London City – Antwerp. Business travelers enjoyed 16 return flights per week, with considerable flexibility. Many business people found their way back to London, as evidenced by the high occupancy rate. The results have proven to be better than anticipated.
The general aviation segment also performed very well. It accounts for 40% of all flights. This allows us to jump into 2020 with plans for infrastructural investments of the two main players in the business travel section of the airport, ASL and Flying Group.
Marcel Buelens, CEO of International Airport Antwerp:
“With 306 330 passengers in 2019, we have already reached our goal for 2024. The best year to date in ‘Deurne’ airport history. 306 330 people who have rewarded us for the many efforts of our staff and who have faith in us and in the fact that Antwerp deserves its own airport. Thank you to everyone on and around the airfield who has made an effort to come here. Thank you to each entrepreneur that has kept believing and investing in the Antwerp Airport. The end is not yet in sight, requests have not ceased to come in. We would also like to thank the LOM board of directors and the city council of greater Antwerp for their support and positive approach to the cabinet of Mobility led by Minister Lydia Peeters.”
Despite the higher occupancy, both airports succeeded in delivering an excellent ‘on time performance’ (OTP), the punctuality with which aircraft take off. An average of 98.3% of flights departed from Antwerp in a timely fashion. Ostend registered an OTP of 95.8%. On a European scale, both airports finish top off the class. Furthermore, travelers enjoy a fluency in procedures, resulting in shorter waiting times at the security check and baggage reclaim.
“I am proud and grateful for everyone’s hard work and I want to thank all the people who mean well for our Flemish airports. We will keep building, at least until the end of 2039 and probably beyond that.This is a perfect opportunity to deliver on a coast tram that stops at Ostend Airport and on a train that no longer passes over Antwerp Airport.”
Ostend Airport closed the month of September with 51,393 passengers. A modest growth of 1.6% compared to the same month last year. Then we recorded 50,583 passengers. Despite this slight growth, we can conclude that the summer months of July, August and September have set a new record. For the airport by the sea it was the busiest summer ever. We received no less than 180,785 passengers compared to 173,347 in the same quarter last year (+ 4.29%).
In the first place there was once again a slight increase in the number of TUI fly passengers. In addition, we also noted a new increase in the number of charter flights and this has led to a higher number of charter passengers. Finally, we can state that the increase in the number of business flights also brought more business passengers with it. These three factors explain the growth rate.
Thanks to the new business terminal, which opened earlier this year, the share of general aviation is growing in significance every month. The private company NSAC will assume full responsibility for the operation and will contribute fully to the further developments in this increasingly important segment of the airport activities.
Over the period January – September there was 14.7% less cargo volume at Ostend airport compared to last year. This trend is fully in line with the slower growth in which the cargo sector is located worldwide (-17%). Together with Aviapartner and Bcube, we hope to reverse this trend in the fourth quarter of this year. Traditionally, the cargo operations have been increasing in that last quarter. After all, Q4 is always considered to be ‘busy’.
Overall, we note an increase in passenger numbers of 9.5% compared to 2018 (January-September). In general, we can conclude that Ostend airport is clearly on the rise and that more and more travellers and business people are experiencing this. Good accessibility, close to home, easy and democratic parking, short walking distances at and around the airport, fast check-in and fast procedures are all advantages of small-scale, regional airports.
For September, one of the busiest months, the airport achieved another excellent score in terms of ‘punctual departures’ (96.9%). A figure that many airports can only dream of to the great delight of our regular customers.
Press contact International Airport Ostend-Bruges
Vanessa Flamez – firstname.lastname@example.org – +32 (0)496 16 06 43
51,393 in September 2019 compared to 50,583 in September 2018 (+1.6%)
1,984 in September 2019 compared to 2,591 in September 2018 (-23.4%)
1,084 ton in September 2019 compared to 2,067 ton in September 2018 (-47,6%)
Comparison between August 2019 and August 2018
67,872 in August 2019 compared to 62,937 in August 2018 (+7.8%)
2,475 in August 2019 compared to 2.485 in August 2018 (-0.4%)
1.089 ton in August 2019 compared to 1,670 ton in August 2018 (-34,8%)
Comparison between July 2019 and July 2018
61,520 in July 2019 compared to 59,827 in July 2018 (+2.8%)
2,549 in July 2019 compared to 2.827 in July 2018 (-11.9%)
1.356 ton in July 2019 compared to 1,835 ton in July 2018 (-26,1%)
TUI fly will monitor more closely whether passengers actually comply with the rules concerning hand baggage. More and more passengers are travelling with hand baggage that exceeds the official standards in terms of size and weight. Due to the limited space for hand baggage on board, it is almost impossible to store all this baggage safely on many flights. As a result, more and more of the hand baggage is forced to be loaded into the cargo hold, which often leads to dissatisfaction on the part of the traveller.
From now on TUI fly will always perform checks at the check-in desk to ensure that the boarding of the aircraft goes a lot smoother.
More info via https://www.tuifly.be/nl/bagage
Comparison between June 2019 and June 2018
47,667 in June 2019 compared to 41,387 in June 2018 (+15.2%)
2,499 in June 2019 compared to 2.109 in June 2018 (+18.5%)
2.130 ton in June 2019 compared to 1,264 ton in June 2018 (+68.8%)