In April 2020, Brussels Airport reported a 52.1% jump in full cargo compared to the same month in 2019.
This jump was all the more surprising given that the freight volume at Brussels Airport decreased by 13.7% in April 2020 compared to April 2019. This decrease is the result of the disappearance of passenger flights on which cargo was also carried. As a result, freight on board passenger flights decreased by 91%.
Arnaud Feist, chief executive officer, Brussels Airport Company, explained: “Due to the loss of capacity on passenger aircraft, the demand for full cargo is greater. Some passenger aircraft are only flying to carry cargo. Thanks to air freight, we are able to obtain and supply essential goods, medicines, medical products and food quickly. At the same time, air freight allows our companies and industry to continue to operate (e.g. the pharmaceutical industry and the export of pharmaceuticals).”
The additional flights are carried by full cargo aircraft (in particular via new companies such as Suparna and Amerijet), but also by passenger aircraft which are only used for freight transport (mainly in the hold, and very exceptionally in the cabin). These additional transactions are mainly carried out during the day.