Brussels- The terrorist attack at the Brussels International Airport in March has led to a downgrade in its ranking among European airports in terms of annual passenger numbers.
The airport was ranked 26th, dropping five places compared to last year.
It received an estimate of 22 million passengers in 2016, 7% less than the registered figure in 2015. This led to Brussels International Airport dropping from its rank against other airports such as Manchester Airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Vienna International Airport.
Brussels South Charleroi Airport came in 63rd position, dropping from rank 61 in 2015. The rankings of Ostend-Bruges International Airport and Liege Airport remained unchanged in 179th place and 184th place, respectively.
The European airport with the highest number of passengers was London’s Heathrow Airport, with 76 million passengers in 2016. This is ahead of Charles de Gaulle in Paris having 66 million and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol which saw 64 million passengers.
In November 2016, the number of movements at Brussels Airport grew by 3% compared to the same period in 2015 — the number of passengers received reached 1.7 million.
This was the first time Brussels Airport administration talks about a record rise since the bombings that killed 32 and injured 300.
Following the attacks, strict security measures were imposed at the airport and caused a reduction in the number of flights and passengers, namely Europeans. Some have canceled their flights while others are still avoiding travelling via Brussels Airport, especially those arriving from the U.S., Japan and China.
Cargo flights also increased more than 15%, as revealed by Belgian media, which added that flights decreased around 1.5% compared to last November but the average of passengers grew from 106 to 111 per flight.