Half as many passengers in Ostend and Antwerp airports compared to summer of 2021
Last summer, the airports of Antwerp and Ostend welcomed almost fifty percent more passengers than last year. After two years full of travel restrictions, the airports are satisfied about the summer holidays. In total, they received almost 160.000 passengers.
The airports are currently receiving 80 percent of the number of passengers before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019. Over 64,500 passengers departed from Antwerp Airport in July and August. That is an increase of 72 percent compared to last year and over 97 percent of the number of passengers who chose the airport in the summer of 2019.
"The airport has had a very strong summer," says CEO Eric Dumas. "There was again plenty of travel this summer and we are noticing more and more that people prefer to depart and arrive via a regional airport."
In total, 191,000 passengers travelled via Antwerp Airport this year. That is 96 percent of the number of passengers the airport could welcome in the same period in 2019. The top destinations for the Antwerp airport last summer were Alicante, Malaga and Ibiza.
"Between 19 September and 25 October, the airport will be temporarily closed. Then the runway will be provided with a new top layer. These works are essential to be able to welcome hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers in the years to come," Dumas says. At the end of December, the airport will also welcome an Italian airline with SkyAlps. SkyAlps will operate three flights per week to Bolzano in the Italian Dolomites.
Business and private flights also did well in Antwerp. The number of business flights via Antwerp Airport was 29 percent higher in July and August than in the summer of 2019.
Ostend Airport received 94,085 passengers in July and August. That is an increase of 34 percent compared to 2021. This summer, the airport again welcomed 73 percent of the number of passengers during the summer of 2019. "Comparing the figures with 2019 is difficult because then a total of 22 destinations were flown. This summer we had only 13 destinations on offer from Ostend. We hope to add new destinations soon." The most popular destinations from Ostend were Alicante, the Canary Islands and Malaga.
The regional airports also stress that they play an increasingly important role. "At our airports there are no big crowds and we are always easily accessible. There is a family atmosphere at our airports. We therefore advise passengers not to arrive earlier than two hours before departure. Now that many airports are struggling with staff and capacity shortages, the regional airports can play an important role."
Deurne airport in Antwerp. - © BELGA PHOTO YORICK JANSENS