Brussels Airport

Not to be confused with Brussels South Charleroi Airport.
Brussels Airport
Luchthaven Brussel-Nationaal (Dutch)
Aéroport de Bruxelles-National (French)
Airport type Military/Public
Operator Brussels Airport Company
Belgian Air Component
Serves Brussels, Belgium
Location Zaventem, Belgium
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 184 ft / 56 m
Coordinates 50°54′05″N 004°29′04″E / 50.90139°N 4.48444°E / 50.90139; 4.48444Coordinates: 50°54′05″N 004°29′04″E / 50.90139°N 4.48444°E / 50.90139; 4.48444

Airport diagram

Location in Belgium

Direction Length Surface
m ft
01/19 2,987 9,800 Asphalt
07R/25L 3,211 10,535 Asphalt
07L/25R 3,638 11,936 Asphalt
Statistics (2015)
Passengers 23,460,018
Freight (tonnes) 489,303
Aircraft movements 239,349
Sources: Brussels Airport,[1] Belgian AIP[2]

Brussels Airport (IATA: BRU, ICAO: EBBR) (also called Brussel-Nationaal / Bruxelles-National (Brussels-National) or Zaventem) is an international airport 6.5 NM (12.0 km; 7.5 mi) northeast[2] of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. In 2015, more than 23 million passengers arrived or departed at Brussels Airport, making it the 21st busiest airport in Europe. It is located partially in Zaventem, partially in the Diegem area of Machelen,[3] and partially in Steenokkerzeel, in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is home to around 260 companies, together directly employing 20,000 people and serves as the home base for Brussels Airlines, TUIfly Belgium and Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium.

The company operating the airport is known as The Brussels Airport Company N.V./S.A.; before 19 October 2006, the name was BIAC (Brussels International Airport Company), which was created by Belgian law through a merger of BATC with the ground operations departments of the RLW/RVA. Since 2011, the airport has been owned by the Toronto-based Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan (39%), Macquarie Group (Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund I and Macquarie European Infrastructure Fund III) (36%) and the Belgian State (25%).[4]

On 22 March 2016 the airport's departures hall was severely damaged by the two terrorist bomb blasts. The airport was closed until 3 April 2016, when it reopened with temporary facilities at less than 20% of its previous capacity.[5] It has since returned to full operations, with a record of 90,000 passengers on 29 July 2016.[6]


Early years

The origins of Brussels Airport at Zaventem date back to 1940, when the German occupying force claimed 600 ha (1,500 acres) of agricultural fields reserved as a back-up airfield ("Steenokkerzeel"). There the Luftwaffe established Fliegerhorst Melsbroek and constructed 3 runways in the shape of a triangle: runway 02/20, runway 07L/25R (both of which are still in use today) and runway 12/30. The airport buildings were constructed in the nearby municipality of Melsbroek and not of Zaventem, which is why the airfield was known to the locals as Melsbroek (in Dutch) (or "Fliegerhorst Melsbroek" in German). There is an urban legend that the site of the airport was chosen by the Germans after asking locals where to build it–the Belgians then pointed to this location as it was often foggy.

After the liberation on 3 September 1944, the German infrastructure at Melsbroek fell into the hands of the British. When the old civilian airport in Haren became too small, the Belgian authorities decided to use the aerodrome at Melsbroek for the new national airport. By 1948, a new terminal building was constructed to replace the old wooden building. In the same year, the lengths of both runways 02/20 and 07L/25R were increased, to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) and 2,450 m (8,040 ft) respectively, whereas 12/30 remained at 1,300 m (4,300 ft). The civil aerodrome of Melsbroek was officially opened by Prince Charles, Count of Flanders, the Prince Regent, on 20 July 1948. From 1948 to 1956 many more buildings and facilities were erected, mostly on the Melsbroek side of the site.

In 1955, a railway line from Brussels city centre to the airport was constructed. The line was officially opened by King Baudouin on 15 May 1955.

In 1956 a new 2,300 m (7,500 ft) runway was constructed, 07R/25L, which runs parallel with 07L/25R. The runway is still in use today and saw its length later increased to 3,200 m (10,500 ft). In April 1956 the Belgian government decided to build a new airport, using the same runways, but with the buildings located within the municipality of Zaventem. In April 1957, construction started of the new terminal, preparing the airport for the 1958 World Fair. The grass runway 12/30 had to make way to allow for the new passenger terminal. This new airport was inaugurated 5 July 1958, almost just in time for the 1958 World Fair. The buildings on the Melsbroek side are still in use by the Belgian Air Force (15th Air Transport Wing), and this is still known as Melsbroek airfield. Both Zaventem Airport and Melsbroek Air Base, the military airfield, share the same runways.[7]

Development since the 1960s

Sabena Boeing 707-300 at Brussels Airport in 1966

During the boom of commercial aviation in the 1960s and 1970s, several hangars were constructed. A new cargo terminal was constructed in 1976. In 1994, a brand new terminal was constructed adjacent to the old 1958 building. Two old piers were torn down and replaced by modern ones. In 2002, amidst the turmoil surrounding the demise of the national airline Sabena, a new pier was opened.

In 2005, the airport was awarded Best Airport in Europe by Airports Council International/International Air Transport Association (ACI/IATA), based on a survey of over 100,000 passengers worldwide. Brussels Airport continued to appear in top airports lists as of 2012. A direct train link with Leuven and Liège was opened on 12 December 2005.

In 2007, the airport served 17.8 million passengers, an increase of 7% over 2006. The cargo volume in the same year amounted to 780,000 tonnes, an increase of 8.9% over 2006. In 2008, the airport served 18.5 million passengers, which was an increase of 3.7% over the previous year.[8]

Sabena's demise meant a sharp fall in passenger traffic, a blow from which the airport only slowly recovered. The airport's future is threatened by disagreement between the governments of Flanders and the Brussels Capital Region concerning night-time air traffic routes.

In March 2009, the old mechanical Flight information display systems were replaced by electronic ones.[9] In September 2009, CEO Wilfried Van Assche resigned. One of the (unofficial) reasons was the delay in the construction of the low-cost terminal and the possible lawsuit by 52 airlines active at Brussels Airport, on the grounds of tax discrimination. It was Van Assche who started expanding the Long-Haul network (Jet Airways, Hainan Airlines, Etihad Airways and US Airways) at Brussels Airport. In February 2010 Arnaud Feist was appointed CEO. The Chairman of the Board is Marc Descheemaecker.

According to an unofficial study, Brussels Airport is the most noise-polluting airport of 30 European airports in terms of the noise levels created and the number of people affected by take-off and landing operations.[10]

In November 2015, Jet Airways announced to shut down their scissor hub operations at Brussels Airport, which they maintained for several years, by 26 March 2016.[11] Two routes incoming from India met here and exchanged passengers for the onward flights to Newark and Toronto.[12]

2016 Brussels bombings

On 22 March 2016, two explosions took place in Brussels Airport at 07:58 local time. One occurred near the American Airlines and Brussels Airlines check-in desks and the other next to a Starbucks coffee shop. A third bomb was found in the airport and detonated in a controlled explosion. The airport was closed after the attacks until 3 April, when it reopened with temporary facilities at less than 20% of its previous passenger capacity.[5] Flights bound to Brussels Airport were either canceled or diverted to nearby airports such as Brussels South Charleroi Airport, Ostend–Bruges International Airport, and Schiphol. At 09:11 CET, an explosion took place at Maelbeek/Maalbeek metro station. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attacks as an act of revenge against Belgium for participation in the ongoing Military intervention against ISIL.[13]


Terminal exterior
Departures area at Pier A
Runway and apron
Control tower

Brussels Airport uses a one terminal concept, meaning that all the facilities are located under a single roof. The terminal building consists of several levels. The railway station is located on −1, busses and taxis arrive at 0, arrivals are located on level 2 and departures on level 3. Levels 2 and 3 are connected to the airport's two piers (A and B).[14]

Pier A

Pier A is the newest pier on Brussels Airport and was opened on 15 May 2002. This pier was destined to support flights from and to the Schengen countries (A-gates). However, since 15 October 2008 all Brussels Airlines flights to African destinations are also handled at this pier. Therefore, border control was installed towards the end of the pier in order to create a new pier. As a result, gates A61-72 were renamed T61-72. Later, Brussels Airlines' daily flight to New York was also moved here from pier B.

Until March 26, 2015,[15] Pier A was connected to the main building via a 400-metre-long (1,300 ft) tunnel under the apron. Each pier used to have its own security zone, so transfer between the piers involved a security check. This tunnel was replaced by the "Connector", a new building that links both piers above ground and allows passengers to walk straight from the check-in desk to their gate in pier A or B, without changing floors. In the opposite direction, the building provides arriving passengers with a smooth and convenient passage to the baggage reclaim hall and the exit. Furthermore, border control has been relocated to a 25-lane screening platform (Europe's largest) inside the Connector which means that changing planes no longer requires a security check.

Pier B

Pier B is the oldest pier still in use at Brussels Airport and is only used for flights outside the Schengen Area. Pier B is connected immediately to the main departure hall and consists of two decks. The upper deck (level 3) is at the same level as the departure halls and is used for the departing passengers, whereas the lower deck (level 2) is used for arriving passengers and connects immediately to border control and the baggage claim area.


Pier A West

Pier A West is a planned expansion of Pier A, and is meant to relieve Pier B by also handling flights from non-Schengen countries. Pier A West was due to open in 2016, but because of the slow passenger growth, Brussels Airport announced in July 2013 that the works would be delayed. However, in November 2015, Brussels Airport announced a major 550 million euro investment and pointed out that within this investment the extension of the pier is included.[16]

Low-cost pier

Just as is the case for Pier A West, the construction of a new low-cost pier is currently on hold. It will be built roughly where the old south pier used to be. At present, several low-cost airlines including Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to Brussels-South Charleroi Airport, 40 km (25 mi) away from Brussels.[17] In autumn 2013, low-cost carrier Pegasus Airlines has announced it will end its flights between Brussels Airport and Turkey. The service between Brussels and Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen will relocate to Brussels-South Charleroi Airport. However, Turkish Airlines announced on 26 November 2013 it will offer one daily flight on the same route, starting one month after Pegasus terminates its operations at the airport.[18] One day later, Ryanair announced the opening of a second Belgian base at Brussels Airport, giving a boost to low-cost traffic at Brussels Airport. Ryanair announced on 27 November 10 new routes from Brussels Airport,[19] although Brussels-South Charleroi Airport will remain the low-cost carrier's primary Belgian base.


Shops, bars and restaurants are scattered throughout the building. A few facilities are located in the departure area. These are mostly convenience stores and small shops such as the airport shop, a pharmacy, Relay stores and a coffee shop. But most of the facilities can only be accessed after Security control –and are tax free. Several brands and chains have a branch in both piers, however several only operate in pier A. The airport also features places of worship (for Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Orthodox Christians and Protestants), as well as a place for meditation for humanists. The airport provides meeting facilities and can host congresses up to 600 participants, either in the Regus Skyport Meeting Center or in the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel. The latter is the only hotel located on the airport grounds, opposite the terminal. Shuttle services are provided to 14 nearby hotels.

All passengers now have unlimited free Wi-Fi access.[20] Telenet, Boingo Wireless and iPass Inc. customers continue to have unlimited free Wi-Fi access through their personal accounts.[21]

Other facilities

Several airlines have or had its head offices at the grounds of Brussels Airport. Brussels Airlines has its corporate head office in the, Airport Building 26, located in Diegem, Machelen.[3][22] European Air Transport had its head office in Building 4–5, in Zaventem.[23] Before Sabena went out of business, its head office was in the Sabena House on the grounds of Brussels Airport.[24] When it existed, Virgin Express had its head office in Building 116 in Zaventem.[25] SN Brussels, which formed in 2002, had its head office in Airport Building 117 in Zaventem when it existed.[26] Prior to its disestablishment, Sobelair had its head office in Building 45 in Zaventem.[27][28]

Airlines and destinations


Adria Airways Ljubljana A
Aegean Airlines Athens
Seasonal: Corfu, Heraklion, Rhodes, Thessaloniki
Aer Lingus Dublin B
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo B
Air Algérie Algiers, Oran B
Air Arabia Maroc Casablanca, Nador, Tangier B
airBaltic Riga A
Air Canada Montréal-Trudeau B
Air Europa Madrid A
Air France
operated by HOP!
Bordeaux, Lyon A
Air Malta Malta A
Air Moldova Chișinău B
Air Serbia Belgrade B
Air Transat Seasonal: Montréal-Trudeau B
Alitalia Milan-Linate, Rome-Fiumicino A
operated by Alitalia CityLiner
Milan-Linate A
All Nippon Airways Tokyo-Narita B
Austrian Airlines Vienna A
Blue Air Bacău, Bucharest, Iași B
BMI Regional East Midlands, Newcastle upon Tyne B
British Airways London-Heathrow B
Brussels Airlines Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Basel/Mulhouse, Berlin-Tegel, Bilbao, Bologna, Budapest, Copenhagen, Faro, Funchal (begins 1 April 2017),[29] Geneva, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Gran Canaria, Hamburg, Kraków, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Málaga, Marseille, Milan-Linate, Milan-Malpensa, Naples, Nice, Oslo-Gardermoen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Porto, Prague, Rome-Fiumicino, Stockholm-Bromma, Strasbourg, Tenerife-South, Toulouse, Turin, Venice-Marco Polo, Vienna, Vilnius, Warsaw-Chopin
Seasonal: Ajaccio, Bastia, Bordeaux, Calvi, Catania, Comiso (begins 3 June 2017),[29] Figari, Florence, Heraklion, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Lourdes, Malta, Olbia, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca (begins 27 April 2017),[30] Rhodes (begins 27 May 2017),[29] Seville, Thessaloniki
Brussels Airlines Agadir, Birmingham, Belfast-City, Edinburgh, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Marrakech, Moscow-Domodedovo, Mumbai (begins 6 March 2017),[31] New York-JFK, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Toronto-Pearson, Yerevan (begins 31 March 2017),[32] Zagreb
Seasonal: Dubrovnik, Saint Petersburg, Washington-Dulles
Brussels Airlines Abidjan, Accra, Banjul, Bujumbura, Conakry, Cotonou, Dakar, Douala, Entebbe, Freetown, Kigali, Kinshasa-N'djili, Lomé, Luanda, Monrovia, Ouagadougou, Yaoundé T
Brussels Airlines
operated by ASL Airlines France
Paris-Charles de Gaulle A
Brussels Airlines
operated by BMI Regional
Bremen, Nantes, Nuremberg, Strasbourg A
Brussels Airlines
operated by BMI Regional
Bristol B
Brussels Airlines
operated by Flybe
Basel, Billund, Hamburg, Hannover A
Brussels Airlines
operated by Flybe
Birmingham B
Bulgaria Air Sofia B
Corendon Airlines Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman B
Croatia Airlines Zagreb B
Croatia Airlines
operated by Trade Air
Zagreb B
Czech Airlines Prague A
Delta Air Lines New York-JFK
Seasonal: Atlanta (resumes 27 March 2017)[33]
easyJet Berlin-Schönefeld (ends 25 March 2017),[34] Bordeaux, Milan-Malpensa (ends 8 January 2017),[35] Naples, Nice A
easyJet Switzerland Basel/Mulhouse, Geneva A
EgyptAir Cairo B
El Al Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion B
Emirates Dubai-International B
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa1 B
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi B
Eurowings Salzburg (begins 13 January 2017)[36] A
operated by Germanwings
Stuttgart A
Finnair Helsinki A
operated by Nordic Regional Airlines
Helsinki A
Freebird Airlines Seasonal charter: Antalya, Bodrum B
Hainan Airlines Beijing-Capital B
Iberia Madrid A
Icelandair Reykjavík-Keflavík A
KLM Amsterdam A
operated by KLM Cityhopper
Amsterdam A
LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw-Chopin A
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich A
Lufthansa Regional
operated by Lufthansa CityLine
Frankfurt, Munich A
Middle East Airlines Beirut B
operated by LOT Polish Airlines
Tallinn A
Nouvelair Seasonal charter: Djerba, Monastir B
Onur Air Antalya B
Pegasus Airlines Seasonal: Antalya B
Qatar Airways Doha B
Royal Wings Seasonal charter: Aqaba B
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca, Nador, Rabat, Tangier
Seasonal: Al Hoceima, Oujda
Ryanair[37] Alicante, Barcelona, Berlin-Schönefeld, Hamburg, Lisbon, Madrid, Málaga, Malta, Milan-Malpensa, Palma de Mallorca, Porto, Rome-Fiumicino, Treviso, Valencia
Seasonal: Grenoble (begins 17 December 2016),[38] Ibiza
Ryanair[37] Dublin, Larnaca B
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stockholm-Arlanda
Seasonal: Gothenburg-Landvetter
SunExpress Seasonal: Ankara (begins 22 June 2017),[39] Izmir B
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich A
Swiss International Air Lines
operated by Swiss Global Air Lines
Zürich A
Tailwind Airlines Charter: Antalya, Eskişehir B
TAP Portugal Lisbon A
TAROM Bucharest B
Thai Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi B
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Almería, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife–South
Seasonal: Chania, Corfu, Girona, Heraklion, Ibiza, Kos, Málaga, Menorca, Mykonos, Reus, Rhodes, Rimini, Santorini, Zakynthos
Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium Agadir, Boa Vista, Hurghada, Marrakesh, Sal, Sharm el-Sheikh (resumes 3 July 2017)
Seasonal: Burgas, Djerba, Dubrovnik, Marsa Alam, Ohrid, Paphos, Split, Tivat, Varna
Transavia Seasonal charter: Heraklion, Tenerife-South A
TUIfly Belgium Alicante, Almería, Fuerteventura, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Málaga, La Palma, Tenerife-South
Seasonal: Ajaccio, Athens, Bastia, Brindisi, Burgas, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Faro, Girona, Heraklion, Ibiza, Jerez de la Frontera, Kittilä (begins 24 December 2016), Kos, Lamezia Terme, Lourdes, Menorca, Mykonos, Naples, Olbia, Palermo, Palma de Mallorca, Ponta Delgada, Reus, Rhodes, Samos, Santorini, Thessaloniki, Varna, Zakynthos
TUIfly Belgium Agadir, Antalya, Banjul, Boa Vista, Cancún, Hurghada, Marrakech, Marsa Alam, Miami, Montego Bay, Pristina, Punta Cana, Rabat, Sal, Santo Domingo, Sharm el-Sheikh,[40][41] Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Tirana, Varadero
Seasonal: Bodrum, Dalaman, Dubrovnik, Izmir, Orlando-Sanford, Paphos, Tivat (begins 28 April 2017), Zanzibar
Tunisair Djerba, Enfidha, Monastir, Tunis B
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk, Istanbul-Sabiha Gökçen B
Ukraine International Airlines Kiev-Boryspil B
United Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Newark, Washington-Dulles B
Vueling Alicante, Barcelona, Málaga, Valencia
Seasonal: Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca
WOW air Reykjavík-Keflavík (begins 2 June 2017) A

^1 Ethiopian's flight from Brussels to Addis Ababa makes a stop in Paris. However, the airline does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Brussels and Paris.


Air Algérie Cargo Algiers, Casablanca
Asiana Cargo Anchorage, Halifax, London-Stansted, New York-JFK, Seoul-Incheon
ASL Airlines Belgium Helsinki
operated by Air Cargo Global
Lagos, Lomé, Luanda, Nairobi
DHL Aviation
operated by AeroLogic
Bahrain, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by DHL Air UK
Cincinnati, Lagos, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by EAT Leipzig
Bergamo, Budapest, Copenhagen, East Midlands, Leipzig/Halle, Lisbon, London-Heathrow, Vitoria
DHL Aviation
operated by Kalitta Air
Bahrain, Cincinnati, Leipzig/Halle
DHL Aviation
operated by Swiftair
Barcelona, Bratislava, Madrid
Emirates SkyCargo Chicago-O'Hare, Dubai-Al Maktoum
Ethiopian Airlines Cargo Addis Ababa, Dubai-Al Maktoum, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, New York-JFK, Shanghai[42]
Etihad CargoAbu Dhabi
Finnair Cargo
operated by EAT Leipzig
KF Cargo Charter: Moncton, Toronto
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha, Entebbe, Nairobi, Oslo-Gardermoen, Stavanger
Royal Air Maroc Casablanca
Saudia Cargo Dammam, Jeddah, Milan-Malpensa, Riyadh, Vienna
Singapore Airlines Cargo Bangalore, Chennai, Chicago-O'Hare, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Sharjah, Singapore
Yangtze River Express Chicago-O'Hare, Munich



Busiest European routes from Brussels Airport[43]
Rank Destination Airport(s) Passengers 2014 Passengers 2015 Top carriers
1 Spain Barcelona BCN 813,574 862,165 Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Vueling
2 Spain Madrid MAD 738,203 805,092 Air Europa, Brussels Airlines, Iberia
3 Italy Rome FCO 722,229 793,605 Alitalia, Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, Vueling
4 Portugal Lisbon LIS 664,092 725,839 Brussels Airlines, Ryanair, TAP Portugal, Thomas Cook Airlines Belgium, Vueling
5 United Kingdom London LHR, LGW 673,448 723,081 British Airways, Brussels Airlines, easyJet
6 Switzerland Geneva GVA 557,364 570,261 Brussels Airlines, easyJet Switzerland
7 Italy Milan MXP, LIN 511,313 542,962 Alitalia, Brussels Airlines, easyJet
8 Germany Frankfurt FRA 472,400 517,941 Lufthansa
9 Germany Berlin TXL, SXF 438,626 510,143 Brussels Airlines, easyJet, Ryanair
10 Turkey Istanbul IST, SAW 498,424 487,177 Turkish Airlines
Busiest Intercontinental routes from Brussels Airport[43]
Rank Destination Airport(s) Passengers 2014 Passengers 2015 Top carriers
1 United States New York City JFK, EWR 593,015 601,314 Brussels Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Jet Airways, United Airlines
2 Israel Tel Aviv TLV 236,928 289,395 Brussels Airlines, El Al, Jetairfly
3 United States Washington, D.C. IAD 226,162 221,855 United Airlines, Brussels Airlines
4 United Arab Emirates Dubai DXB 55,022 209,476 Emirates
5 Canada Montréal YUL 166,295 180,628 Air Canada, Air Transat
6 United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi AUH 171,648 171,407 Etihad Airways
7 Morocco Casablanca CMN 158,149 159,188 Air Arabia Maroc, Royal Air Maroc
8 India Mumbai BOM 162,384 149,287 Jet Airways
9 Canada Toronto YYZ 155,041 147,761 Jet Airways
10 Qatar Doha DOH 138,939 147,395 Qatar Airways


Statistics of the Brussels Airport from 1990 to 2014 incl. passengers, transfer passengers, flights handled and freight (in t).
Traffic by calendar year[44][45][46][47]
Year Passenger volume Change over previous year Aircraft operations Change over previous year Cargo (tonnes) Change over previous year
2015 23,460,018 Increase6.96% 239,349 Increase3.38%489,303Increase7.79%
2014 21,933,190 Increase14.60% 231,528 Increase6.90% 453,954 Increase5.60%
2013 19,133,222 Increase0.90% 216,678 Decrease3.00% 429,938 Decrease6.40%
2012 18,971,332 Increase1.00% 223,431 Decrease4.40% 459,265 Decrease3.30%
2011 18,786,034 Increase9.30% 233,758 Increase3.60% 475,124 Decrease0.20%
2010 17,180,606 Increase1.10% 225,682 Decrease2.60% 476,135 Increase6.00%
2009 16,999,154 Decrease8.20% 231,668 Decrease10.50% 449,132 Decrease32.1%
2008 18,515,730 Increase3.40% 258,795 Decrease2.10% 661,143 Decrease15.60%
2007 17,900,000 Increase7.10% 264,366 Increase3.80% 783,727 Increase8.90%
2006 16,707,892 Increase3.30% 254,772 Increase0.60% 719,561 Increase2.40%
2005 16,179,733 Increase3.50% 253,255 Decrease0.30% 702,819 Increase5.80%
2004 15,632,773 Increase2.90% 254,070 Increase0.70% 664,375 Increase9.40%
2003 15,194,097 Increase5.40% 252,249 Decrease1.80% 607,136 Increase13.1%
2002 14,410,555 Decrease26.8% 256,889 Decrease15.9% 536,826 Decrease8.00%
2001 19,684,867 Decrease9.00% 305,532 Decrease6.30% 583,729 Decrease15.1%
2000 21,637,003 Increase7.90% 352,972 Increase4.20% 687,385 Increase1.90%
1999 20,048,532 Increase15.7% 312,892 Increase4.30% 674,837
1998 18,400,000 Increase15.7% 300,000 Increase8.30%
1997 15,900,000 Increase18.7% 277,000 Increase4.90%
1996 13,400,000 Increase7.20% 264,000
1995 12,500,000 Increase11.6%
1994 11,200,000
1993 10,000,000+
1950 240,000+

Ground transportation


Brussels Airport bus service

Brussels Airport can be reached by car via the A201, which is directly connected to the Brussels Ring Road. From there, the main highways of Belgium can directly be accessed. Private partners provide three car parks at the airport, offering in total 10,600 parking spaces. Shell operates a self-service gas station near the exit of the airport complex.

Several car rental services are located in the airport as well. Europcar, Hertz, Sixt and Thrifty all operate at Brussels Airport.

De Lijn provides bus transportation to and from various cities in Flanders from platforms A and B (via Brucargo). The MIVB/STIB provides transportation into Brussels city centre at Brussels Luxembourg Station via line 12 (weekdays before 8 pm) or line 21 (weekends and evenings after 8 pm) from platform C. Platform E is used by the Hotel Shuttles, offering shuttle services to several hotels near the area.

Taxis are permanently available in front of the arrivals hall. The fare from the airport to the city centre of Brussels is normally around €45. Licensed taxis can be recognized by the blue and yellow emblem.


Main article: Brussels Airport railway station

The Airport Railway Station is located under the airport building at level −1. The train station has direct services to Antwerp, Brussels, De Panne, Ghent, Hasselt, Landen, Leuven, Mechelen, Nivelles and Quévy. At least four trains per hour serve the most used link to Brussels South Railway Station, where international connections are offered by Eurostar (to London), Thalys (to Amsterdam, Avignon, Cologne, Essen, Lille, Marseille, Paris and Valence), ICE (to Cologne and Frankfurt), and Eurocity (to Basel, Bern, Chur, Luxembourg and Zürich).

A direct train link with Leuven was opened on 12 December 2005. A direct link with Antwerp and Mechelen via the so-called Diabolo line was opened for public service on 10 June 2012. The Diabolo project is a public-private partnership. It has been decided that all rail passengers to the Brussels National Airport railway station pay a "Diabolo supplement" to finance the ongoing and planned work.

As of December 2014, a direct train link between Bruges and the Airport will be offered,[48] just as an Intercity service to Schiphol and Amsterdam.[49]

Since the new Schuman-Josaphat tunnel[50] has been finished, a new connection has been established to connect Brussels Airport directly to the stations of the EU quarter, being Brussels-Schuman and Brussels-Luxembourg. This brought the travel time between the Airport and the EU quarter to 15 minutes. The Belgian Railways announced the line to open as an hourly service.[51][52][53] However, the line now sees a train every 30 minutes on weekdays.[54]


In an attempt to alleviate gridlock around Brussels, the regional transport company De Lijn started the Brabantnet project.[55] Three new lightrail lines will be created, of which 2 will have a stop at Brussels Airport;

The Brabantnet project is scheduled to be finished by 2020.

To speed up the process, testing started in August 2016 with a Trambus, a Bus rapid transit system developed by Belgian bus builder Van Hool. As these require less investment, the Ring Tram line could enter in Service as early as 2019. This Trambus solution would be an in-between step until the Tram line is finished.[56]


Brussels Airport has a special separated road that provides access to the airport for bikers and pedestrians. There is also a special place to park bikes. By 2018 a connection will be created between the airport and the Bike Highway Brussels - Leuven.[57] This should increase the number of employees commuting by bike, which only stands at 1%.[58]

Accidents and incidents

The Boeing 747 that overran the runway in 2008

See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  1. "Brussels Airport Website: Brussels Airport ends 2015 with new passenger record and 7% growth".
  2. 1 2 AIP for EBBR – Brussels Airport from Belgocontrol
  3. 1 2 "bedrijf.jpg." Retrieved on 25 April 2010.
  4. "Moody's assigns (P)Baa1 rating to Brussels Airport Holding SA/NV's senior secured debt; stable outlook". Retrieved 2 June 2015.
  5. 1 2 John Martens (3 April 2016). "Brussels Reconnects With NYC, Africa as Airport Shifts Gear".
  6. "Record day at Brussels Airport with 90,000 passengers expected". Retrieved 4 August 2016.
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