Antwerp Airport received 71.3% fewer passengers last year. A total of 88,036 passengers travelled through our airport. (306,330 in 2019). The airport looks optimistically at the new year and is convinced that our regional airport can create a safe environment for the passengers.
2020 started promisingly for Antwerp Airport. The airport almost welcomed 40,000 passengers in January and February combined. That is an increase of 26% to the same period in 2019. With these figures, we were heading for a record year once again.
However, in March we were confronted with a different reality. The coronavirus caused all passenger flights of Air Antwerp and TUI Fly to be temporarily suspended between mid-March and early July. After a good preparation and strict precautions, flights from TUI Fly to Ibiza (Spain) and Split (Croatia) departed again on July 10th. Other top destinations in Spain were also included in an alternative summer program. In July and August, the airport experienced a slight recovery. 24,000 passengers travelled via Antwerp Airport during the summer holidays. The demand for these popular destinations remained high and occupancy rates were also very good despite the Corona pandemic.
From August onwards, the number of travel restrictions in Belgium increased again. TUI Fly therefore decided to suspend its flights until the autumn holidays from September 10th. During the autumn holiday, flights were temporarily offered again to the top destination Alicante.
Air Antwerp resumed their operations on September 15th with an adjusted timetable. The quarantine measures in the UK made traveling to London very difficult. In addition, the demand for business flights was limited. In December, Air Antwerp decided to temporarily suspend their flights again until March 2021.
A total of 71.3% fewer passengers travelled through Antwerp airport in the past year. 88,036 compared to 306,330 in 2019.
Last year, the airport also realised some projects for the comfort of the passengers. For example, the parking in front of the airport building and the kiss & ride-zone were modernised. The adjustments ensure that the walking distance from your car to the airport building is limited to one minute. In addition, passengers were able to shop in the brand new Duty Free shop for the first time this summer.
In addition, we continue to invest in improving our passenger experience and comfort. In this way, the departure hall will be further expanded and a new arrival hall will be provided. With these additional investments, we hope to welcome passengers again from February onwards.
Safe travel environment
As an airport we are ready and convinced that travelers can travel safely and relaxed through our airport. The airport has invested heavily in safe and efficient procedures in the recent months. Besides that, the regional nature of our airport ensures that few flights depart at the same time. In this way, there are a limited number of passengers in the airport building and the distance can be ensured at any time. This creates an extra safe environment for the passengers.
2020 also was a difficult year for business flights. The number of movements decreased by 34% compared to 2019. Especially the first half of the year was very difficult. In the second half of the year the business segment made a nice recovery.
The airport looks optimistically towards 2021. We expect Air Antwerp and TUI Fly to resume this spring. Passengers will have the opportunity to fly from Antwerp Airport to 11 destinations this year. We also expect the share of business flights to grow further. Both ASL and FLYINGGROUP have invested significantly in the expansion and renewal (and sustainability) of their airport infrastructure. All this in order to support further growth.